BANANA/PLANTAIN STEM TO BIODEGRADABLE PACKAGING

About Solution

WHO WE ARE

Located in Yaounde / Cameroon, PRA Ets (Product Related to Agricultural Sector) is a company that strongly believes that the agricultural transformation can strongly revive the environment, the Cameroon and Africa’s economy, create jobs for rural women especially, fight against youth unemployment, create wealth and contributes to food self-sufficiency.

Since 2017, PRA Ets has been involved in production and marketing of plantain. And he is at the business plan and prototype stage in his project to transform banana/plantain stem into biodegradable packaging (Shopping bags, Cardboard, roll of paper)

www.pragricole.wordpress.com

PROBLEM

Analyzing the situation in Cameroon, Africa and internationally, The Company PRA (Product Related to Agricultural sector) was found to address those following problems:

· Destruction of the environment caused by

Ø  108,000 tons of carbon produced annually in Cameroon by banana/plantain stems abandoned in the field after cutting banana-plantain diets. (Stem decomposition creates carbon)

Ø  Deforestation caused by cutting of trees to manufacture bags, cardboards, papers, etc. strongly reduces the trees which are supposed to absorb atmospheric CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)

Ø  Plastic packaging is inappropriately disposed of, thus making their bio-degradation difficult. Despite efforts currently put in place to recycle plastics, millions of plastic wastes still flood our habitats, farmlands, and waterways — thus clogging pipes, and stifling marine life, crop cultivation and rearing of animals. Burnt plastics create greenhouse gases that are destructive to the environment. Cameroon would lose 200,000 ha of its plant cover each year because of plastic packaging. 

· Once the plantains in the field are harvested, the trunks are abandoned and not revalued/recycled.

· Rural women are regarded as lesser beings in society and their lack of financial empowerment reinforces the idea of inequity with men,

SOLUTION

Currently, 4,000,000 tons of banana-plantain are produced yearly in Cameroon. The innovative solution we are proposing is to process banana-plantain stem into biodegradable packages (shopping bags, cardboard, rolls of paper) that are used in several sectors: Agribusiness (pastry shop, catering, bakeries, super-hypermarkets, restaurants, pizzeria) clothingindustry (Ready to wear)Real estate (Furniture packaging, beds agro-food, clothing industry). Our goal is the economic empowerment for rural women. We believe in empowering them financially, motivating them to identify and believe more in their potentials, so that they can successfully-emerge. This empowerment of women will go through part of tranformation process that is reserved for them.

Based on the above, we proposed alternatives to banned plastic packaging by significantly reducing the environmental destruction caused by deforestation and abandoned plantain trunks in the field, by upgrading plantain residues. An initiative that will also create jobs (33 after 1 year), protects natural resources and reduces waste.

OUR UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION (KEY OF SUCCES)

The innovation of this project lies in: TIMELINESS QUALITY COST EFFECTIVENESS. Indeed the triangle of innovation that we describe highlights 3 main points:

  •  Reduction in the supply time for raw material: The wood used to produce paper packaging generally takes averagely 15 years for reforestation. But the stems of plantains we use are available every 4 months, once we harvest the plantain. In the worst case, plantation-suckers take an average of 12 months to mature its first plantains.
  •  With its design, colour, and physical looks close to that of wood: plantain trunks once transformed into packaging are solid, and pretty. Most especially, they are biodegradable.
  • The high availability of low-cost raw material (annual production of 4,000,000 tonnes of plantains in Cameroon), and the simplicity and speed of the technical transformation route, all make our products have very competitive cost in the market.

Having measurable experience in what we do, coupled with our love for it, doing it with determination, perseverance, self-sacrifice, and our specific concern about gender, are key elements that differentiate my team and me from all other project leaders of the same kind.

OUR AWARDS

  •   RUFORUM Top23 Award for Best African Entrepreneurs in Kenya 2018
  • Be selected for business/entrepreneurship training by YALI-RLC (Young-African-Leadership-Initiative- Regional Leadership Center) onsite in Dakar / Senegal 2018
  •  Be selected for business/entrepreneurship training by YALI-RLC online in Accra / Ghana 2018
  • Second best of innovation during national day of small and medium enterprises by ministry of small and medium enterprises, social economy and handicrafts in Cameroon 2017
  • EMPRETEC by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 2017 
  •  CLA (Cameroon-Leadership-Academy) 2015

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