Since the introduction of the plastic ban, farmers in Kenya have started to sell sisal for higher value. This plant is used for making shopping bags, with very high perspective – to replace plastic bags, not only in this country.
Kenyans producing, selling or even using plastic bags risk imprisonment of up to four years or fines of $40,000 By Kagondu Njagi KIBWEZI, Kenya, June 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Kenyan farmer Sam Mung’ala once struggled to feed his family by growing cowpeas and sorghum. These days he is betting on a new type of merchandise: shopping bags. The farmer from Kibwezi town in the country’s south is planting and selling sisal, a source of fibre that roadside vendors and market traders use to make carrier bags. “A kilo used to sell for 30 Kenyan shillings ($0.30) but now it can fetch up to 100 shillings ($1) since the plastic ban,” he said, crouching to sharpen a machete at his farm. Last year Kenya passed a law aimed at reducing plastic pollution, whereby Kenyans producing, selling or even using plastic bags risk imprisonment of up to four years or fines of $40,000. Big supermarket chains like France’s Carrefour and Kenya’s Nakumatt have already started offering customers cloth bags as alternatives – creating demand for fibre like sisal, said Robert Gituru, a botanist at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. “Farmers are taking more interest in sisal due […]