Kenaf is an important agricultural product. Its stalk, after being left in a solution and bleached, is useful in many ways and is generating a significant amount of national productive income.

Kenaf can be classified in different types

 

The first type of kenaf, its spathe is edible. In Thai, we call it rosella. Another type, its stalk can be made into kenaf fiber.

Cuban kenaf can be called differently: Kenaf, Bimlipatum, Decanhemp, Mesta, etc.

Jute is another type of kenaf in Corchorus capsularis. Jute gives good quality fiber.

Since Sukhothai age, Thai used local/native kenaf by peeling its stalk “kenaf stalk” and twist into a rope “twisted kenaf”. Twisted kenaf is considered a commodity, that time. It can be used as rope for tying things and in farming. Later, when sack is used to pack grains and agricultural products, Ministry of Industry initiated a weaving mill and encouraged villagers to do more kenaf farming to lead to adequate and consistent supply to the mill.

To respond to the government policy, Thailand imported foreign kenaf to substitute local kenaf e.g. Glass kenaf from China ( Taiwan ) in 1932 and Cuban kenaf from The United States of America in 1952.

Kenaf can be grown in any climate, and any type of soil, especially in dry area. But kenaf grows best in loose, enriched soil and in area with scattered rain throughout the year. In Thailand , kenaf is mostly grown in the north-eastern part e.g. Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Burirum, Mahasarakam, Srisaket, Udonthani, and Ubonratchathani.

   
Benefits of Kenaf
 
Industries
Benefits
1. Agriculture
Net to protect plants from too much sunlight or snow, windshield, rope, etc.

2. Home Use
Door mat, Floor mat, a component in linoleum, chair/sofa covering sheet, rope, sleeping mat, inside-oven, apron, wallpaper, etc.

3. Construction
Heat-prevention ceiling, waterproof, echo-prevention, etc.

4. Military
Sandbag, Tent, Water reservoir eg. bucket, clothes (when mixed with cotton), gun-hanger, towline, insulator, etc.

5. Industrial and Transportation
Containers for grains, minerals, fertilizer, chemicals, cement, and nails. Meat wrapper, Fisheries tank covering sheet, wire protector, paper pulp, etc.

6. Others
Wallpaper in Exhibition Halls, Luggage wrapper, Book cover, cleaning car engine fibers, cork , etc.


 
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