Africa-Press – Zambia. Ministry of Green Economy and Environment (MGEE) Permanent Secretary Mr. John Msimuko has assured JICA of Government support in the implementation of the Banana Paper Project, where banana stems are turned into paper.
According to a statement released to the media by Mr Chibaula Silwamba, Communications Officer at the Ministry Of Green Economy And Environment, One Planet Café, which has its headquarters in Japan, is implementing the Banana Paper Project in Mfuwe in Mambwe District, and expanding to Nyimba District, both in Eastern Province.
The Banana Paper Project purchases banana stems from small scale farmers and produce pulp that is exported to Japan and Europe to manufacture high grade paper.
Mr. Msimuko was speaking when One Planet Café Chief Executive Officer Ms. Satoko Ekberg, Director/Sustainability Producer Mr. Peo Ekberg, JICA Project Formulation Adviser Mr. Ishida Masa and JICA Programme Officer for Education and Private Development Sector Mr. Nyambe Nambayo recently paid a courtesy call on him and presented a brief about the Banana Paper Project.
Mr. Msimuko noted that the environmentally and socially friendly Project will be helpful in poverty reduction and economic empowerment while preserving the environment.
Mr. Msimuko noted that the Project fits well with the Government commitment to green the economy and positively transform the wellbeing of the people.
The Permanent Secretary said the Ministry of Green Economy will galvanise the support of other ministries and entities to support the Banana Paper Project.
And Ms. Ekberg said the Project is expected to have positive impact on the lives of the people in Mfuwe. She said the Banana Paper Project will help increase income levels, skills and knowledge of agriculture, and decrease poverty among participating small scale farmers.
Ms. Ekberg said the Project will further contribute to increase in production of eco-friendly organic bananas in Mfuwe and Nyimba Districts. She said the Project might be expanded to other parts of Zambia in future. Meanwhile, Mr Masa said JICA was pleased with MGEE support towards the Banana Paper Project.