DOST PARTNERS WITH VILLA SOCORRO FARM TO PRODUCE BANANA TEXTILE FIBERS FOR CONSTRUCTION APPLICATION
By: Reina Rose B. Realino
Technology Transfer, Information and Promotions Staff
Banana plant from the Villa Socorro Farm
Banana fibers extracted from pseudostems
Bananas, aside from their fruit, have many uses and benefits. Unknown to many, banana textile fibers can be extracted from their pseudostem and can be utilized for different textile applications. Applications can be for wearables, home furnishings, biomedical and industrial components.
Banana textile fiber comprises one of a number of natural textile fibers (NTFs) that DOST - Philippine Textile Research Institute has been developing. Of recent note is the inclusion of applications for construction and building materials and the interface with the civil and construction industry through a program aimed at supporting requirements for greener buildings, cities, and communities.
The program entitled, “CoBUILDTex” (Constructions and Buildings Using Indigenous Locally-developed Natural Textiles) under the DOST Grants-in-Aid program, aims to provide these sustainable solutions for the industry and focuses on the utilization of agricultural by-products such as banana pseudostems to develop local natural textile fibers for building, construction, and indoor installations.
To promote collaborations, the CoBUILDTex program recently conducted a training on Banana Textile Fiber Extraction for Villa Socorro Farm (VSF), a social enterprise located in Pagsanjan, Laguna, that cultivates crops, manufactures food products, fabricates furniture, and promotes farm tourism. The banana plant abundant in Villa Socorro and VSF intends to ensure full utilization of every part of the banana plant, including extracting natural fibers for textile use from banana pseudostems.
Banana Textile Fiber Extraction Training
DOST-PTRI Director Celia B. Elumba, during the training, said, “we are blessed with the capability to pursue yet another application for our natural textile fibers, this time in our buildings and our homes and residences, and even more so with the partners we have, particularly the Villa Socorro Farm.”
The staff demonstrated how to use the Mechanical Fiber Extraction Machine, which extracts the fibers from banana pseudostems and will eventually be used for many applications on textiles and construction materials. The conduct of training on the use and maintenance of the machine was attended by the farmers from Manghihiblang Calaueño, Bagong Calauan movement, EDTEC Enterprises, and the DOST-Provincial Science and Technology Center, Laguna. The staff of Villa Socorro Farm, in turn, will train the farmers in Pagsanjan, Laguna on how to operate the machine and extract the banana fibers.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the Mechanical Fiber Extraction Machine
DOST-PTRI CoBUILDTex Team headed by Dr. Julius Leaño together with Villa Socorro Farm Staff and farmers from Manghihiblang Calaueño
The partnership with Villa Socorro Farm envisions the future of textiles. The use of banana fibers for construction shows the diverse translation of research and development to sustainable livelihood applications. This form of community engagement between the government and the private sector is integral as it positively affects the country's economic development while promoting sustainable production.
For more information about DOST-PTRI’s programs and services, visit and follow DOST-PTRI social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube accounts or check out www.ptri.dost.gov.ph.