Day 34 -Q 3. What are natural fibres? Discuss. What potential do natural fibres provide to act as a source of sustainable income to the farmers? What measures can be to taken to fully capitalise the potential of natural fibres? Suggest.
3. What are natural fibres? Discuss. What potential do natural fibres provide to act as a source of sustainable income to the farmers? What measures can be to taken to fully capitalise the potential of natural fibres? Suggest.
प्राकृतिक फाइबर क्या हैं? चर्चा करें। प्राकृतिक फाइबर किसानों को स्थायी आय के स्रोत के रूप क्या क्षमता प्रदान करते हैं? प्राकृतिक रेशों की क्षमता को पूरी तरह से भुनाने के लिए क्या उपाय किए जा सकते हैं? सुझाव दें।
Natural fibres are fibers that are produced by plants, animals, and geological processes. Example of Natural Fibres is cotton, Jute, coconut fibre, wool and silk. Natural fibres are recyclable and biodegradable. They can be used as a component of composite materials, where the orientation of fibers impacts the properties. Natural fibers can also be matted into sheets to make paper or felt.
Potential of natural fibres to act as a source of sustainable income to the farmers
Agriculture has become non-remunerative in recent times. Only 23% of rural income comes from agriculture (NABARD survey). 76% of the farmers would like to quit farming if given a chance (‘State of Indian Farmers’ report). Recently farmers in Shahganj, MP were forced to throw their tomatoes.
In this context natural fibres can potentially act as source of sustainable income to the farmers
- Biomass waste can be used to produce valuable fibres
- Green Banana Paper based in Micronesia, rather than letting banana trees go to waste, purchases banana stems from banana farmers, giving them an extra source of income.
- New employment generation
- For instance extracting the banana fibre from the banana stems is a labour intensive process
- New, expensive and exotic fabrics can be developed by natural fibres, promising high return to the farmers
- Thailand or Myanmar for example, villagers have been using lotus fibres for rare fabrics for centuries. The process is quite time-consuming but produces a luxurious fabric that feels like a combination of silk and raw linen.
- Jaipur- based Hero’s Fashion Pvt Ltd has started to make stain resistant shirts from lotus fibre.
- Taiwanese textile company Singtex has developed a yarn made from coffee grounds which offers excellent natural anti-door qualities, in addition to UV ray protection and quick drying time and recycled polyester.
- Demand for natural fibres has increased due to environmental harm caused by non-biodegradable synthetic fibres.
Measures to be taken to fully capitalize the potential of natural fibres
- Skill development – eg: extracting the banana fibre from the banana stems
- Development of supply chain – from procurement from farmers to processing to distribution in market.
- R&D – eg: for stain resistant shirts from lotus fibre.
- Collaboration – with Fashion houses and schools for popularizing new fabrics and products made from natural fibres.
- Mixing of natural fibres with synthetic fibres – to increase durability and minimise the environmental damage caused by them.
Increased use of natural fibres can become a powerful pathway to achieve the target of doubling farmers income by 2022.