Sisal Industries Demonstration Unit

Rural economies can be improved by introducing activities which generate local employment. While endeavouring to identify such activities, the State council recognized sisal (Agave veracruz) as a potential raw material for small scale agro industries in semi arid areas.

This project established the feasibility of sisal based agro industry and initiated the process of developing various technologies required for complete uitlization of sisal leaves harvested in semi aid areas.

In subsequent projects, technology and equipment for small scale industry were developed for :

1. Making ropes out of the fibre extracted from sisal leaves.

2. Extraction of hecogenin, a compound used in the manufacture of steriodal drugs

3. Manufacture of hand made paper

Based on this, the following projects were funded:

1. Sisal industries demonstration unit to be set up at Ungra with the objective of manufacturing fibre, hecogenin and paper from sisal leaves at a scaled up version of one tonne of sisal leaves per day capacity.

2. A project to develop the process for the manufacture of pregnon and andrastanolone from hecogenin at the laboratory scale.