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Madurai farmer, 52, makes unique ‘banana ropes’, garners praise from PM Modi

PM Murugesan from Melakkal village in Vadipatti taluk has developed four types of machinery to make rope out of plantain waste.

PM Murugesan, a 52-year-old farmer from Madurai, has been mentioned in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann Ki Baat programme for his agro-based innovation. Murugesan has been recognised for making ropes from banana fibre.

PM Murugesan from Melakkal village in Vadipatti taluk has developed four types of machinery to make rope out of plantain waste. Three of these machines are patented.

Lauding the agro-based entrepreneur on Sunday, February 28, PM Narendra Modi said: “Murugesan’s innovation would not just solve the waste disposal problem but also open up new avenues of income for the farmers.”

Thrilled at having been praised by PM Modi, the Madurai farmer said that the PM Modi’s wishes have inspired and motivated him. He also wishes to farmers across the country by providing them with a means of livelihood. 

Years ago, when Murugesan first came up with the idea to take a different path by making ropes from banana fibre, he was ridiculed by many who thought the idea would hardly work out. 

Sharing his journey with The New Indian Express, Murugesan said, “Hailing from an agricultural family, I dropped out of school after class VIII and was introduced to farming by my father. We have been cultivating paddy and banana on our two-and-a-half acre land. In 2009, I thought of recycling banana fibre and turning it into a value-added product by making ropes out of it. I was ridiculed for the idea. However, I did not care and went ahead with my plan.”

In 2010, Murugesan single-handedly developed the ‘handle rope making machine’ in six months. It is presently priced at Rs 25,000.

“Since banana fibre ropes cannot be sold as a product itself, I decided to make various household handicraft products. A business that began as a small unit, in our cattle-shed with just six workers in 2011, has now grown into five units, with 80 workers on board,” he explained. 

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