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Mann Ki Baat: PM Modi Praises an Indian Couple for their startup, Entered foreign Markets

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Jan 03, 2023 9:00 AM

Read Time: 2 minute

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has praised a Shivamogga-based couple for their innovative use of betelnut fibre. Suresh and his wife Maithili, Vinoba Nagar residents, export their palm leather products internationally.

A couple’s smart effort has brought them to the world market of the United Kingdom and Europe by selling handcrafted, eco-friendly products made from betel nut fibre. Becoming a true example of ‘Vocal for Local’ campaign, they are promoting traditional skills which are pro-environment and low-cost, making this a lucrative business idea.

Suresh and his wife Maithili, come from a small place in Karnataka called Shivamogga. Betel-nut, which is abundantly available in Indian states, has been put to use to make eco-friendly products like trays, plates, handbags and even chappals and a variety of other decorative and gifting items.

Modi ji praised the couple in his Mann Ki Baat episode and said “In this traditional knowledge of India, the world is looking at ways of a sustainable future. We ourselves also need to be more and more aware in this direction. We ourselves should use such indigenous and local products and gift them to others as well. This will also strengthen our identity, strengthen the local economy, and, in large numbers, brighten the future of the people.”

Suresh and Maithili, through their startup Bhoomi Agri Ventures, are making and exporting areca palm products. Their palm leather project was instigated as a cheap plant-based replacement for animal leather, plastic and rubber.

Betel Nut fibre

Betel Nut fibre is an extremely strong fibre, which results in superior quality and long-lasting products. The most significant advantage of these products is that they are extremely beneficial for collaboration in the belief of a sustainable future, with the heart-idea of alternative natural ways to make items without harming the environment.

Every year, 7800 kilotonnes of fabric waste accumulate in India due to the rampant waste of man-made fibres. Only through sustainable alternatives like these can the market generate less waste, reducing environmental damage and ensuring a healthy planet for the future.

Betel nut fibre is a naturally occurring fruit fibre derived from the betel nut fruit. "Betel nut," also known as "Areca," is native to the Philippines but is now widely cultivated in 
East Asia's tropics, including India, China, and Indonesia, making it a major producer. Each husk yields approximately 2.50-2.75 grams of areca fibre. Betel nuts are used to make supari, medicine, and dye. The fruit's epidermis is discarded as agro-waste or as a material for burning.

Also Read: New policy targets 10,000 new startups in 5 years, approved by Karnataka govt

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