Sisal processing in Lubaga
Sisal processing in Lubaga using a raspadora machine

Cultivating sisal

Sisal is a robust, drought-resistant crop

Sisal has traditionally been used to mark boundaries, but it can be cultivated in nurseries, and then grown to maturity in fields. The project encourages local people to grow sisal by explaining the benefits and training in cultivation. Although the plant is very resilient, farmers need to be patient as the plant takes several years to mature.

Sisal drying
Sisal is dried in the sun

Processing sisal

Sisal needs to be stripped and dried

Sisal leaves are crushed and beaten by a rotating wheel in a raspadora machine, which avoids having to use precious water. The remaining fibre is then dried in the sun and brushed. Dry fibres are combed and sorted into grades.

The project has funded raspadora machines, which are much more efficient than hand beating. Training has also been given to farmers improve the quality of the end fibre.