By Keith Bacongco

DAVAO CITY Most durian-lovers would throw away the fruits spiky husks after eating. But an organization of women has found a way to make money off it, by making handmade paper out of durians husk fibers.

Betty Marfil-More, executive director of Kababayen-an Alang sa Teknolohiya nga Haum sa Kinaiyahan ug Kauswagan (Katakus), said they started research on the project in March this year after a trader challenged them during a fair trade to convert the husks into handmade paper.

“There is an abundance of raw materials with fiber content,” More said.

Aside from the durian, Katakus has been producing handmade paper products made of cogon and banana bracts.

The handmade paper project was started in 1994 with training on handmade paper production given by Devlink and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

“Processing of durian husk is just like processing the other raw materials for handmade paper such as cogon, banana and abaca,” More said.

Unlike cogon, durian fiber does not only produce thin sheets — the thistles or thorns remain intact and can be made as designs on the paper.

More revealed that buyers of the durian paper, or those who saw it for the first time, would instinctively smell the paper, but the fruits common odor is removed during the process.

Among the products that can be crafted out of the durian paper are lampshades, photo albums, scrap books, photo frames, boxes and other novelty items for local and international items.

“The product is promising, More said. Many are interestedand curious and could not believe that the durian husks can be processed into a handmade paper,” she said.

Katakus’s latest discovery, More said, could help lessen the volume of waste in the city, adding that some 10 tons of durian garbage are produced in Davao City alone during the fruits peak season. (Keith Bacongco/

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