Rwamagana factory to make paper from banana stems

Rwamagana has embraced a technology of turning banana waste into paper, as it gears up to strengthen the budding processing industry in the district. The paper plant that will be in full operation by January 2014, will cost $1.7 million and will, upon completion, have capacity to process paper from 30 tonnes of banana stems a day.
The factory, will upon completion in 2014,  have capacity to process paper from 30 tonnes of banana stems in a day. The New Times/ File.
The factory, will upon completion in 2014, have capacity to process paper from 30 tonnes of banana stems in a day. The New Times/ File.

Rwamagana has embraced a technology of turning banana waste into paper, as it gears up to strengthen the budding processing industry in the district.

The paper plant that will be in full operation by January 2014, will cost $1.7 million and will, upon completion, have capacity to process paper from 30 tonnes of banana stems a day.

Rwamagana is known for large scale banana growing.

Addressing stakeholders during a one-day consultative meeting to set up the plant, district Mayor Nehemie Uwimana, said the construction of the proposed plant was at an advanced stage.

“The factory is almost complete...it is great that we are going to use the most abundant raw material in our district. Bananas are grown almost by every family in our and neighbouring districts,” he said.

He said that through the chamber of commerce at the district, they have the commitment from Erasmus, an international investment company which will acquire a 75 per cent stake in the plant, while the rest of the shares will be released to the public.

“Rwandans are encouraged to invest in this venture because it is bankable. Each share will be bought at Rwf589,000”.

Uwimana added that more factories would be established in the district next year.

In the pipeline

“A number of other factories are in the pipeline...a vast land has been set aside to accommodate industries. The project will provide jobs and markets for local produce,” he said.

Innocent Ukizuru, the district agriculture officer, said the plant will be environmentally friendly.

“Banana fibre is a strong natural fibre, which can be blended easily with cotton or other synthetic fibres to produce blended fabric and textiles. This is what will essentially be done,” he said.

Augustine Iyamuremye, one of the renowned banana growers in the district said the factory would offer market to teh farmers.

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