- The Fique plant (Furcrea Macrophylla), also called Cabuya or Maguey is common in Colombia.
- The Fique has been cultivated primarily for its fibers, used to make bags for coffee and cocoa growers.
- Fique plants are often seen along roads, in remote areas and are also used as hedges to stop responding.
- There are some 200 known Fique species, or which are only a few suitable for industrial purposes.
- The thorny species described here have the best characteristics for the production of quality fibers as well as good quality juice and bagasse. Fique plants selected; Uña de Aguila (Eagle Claw) or Borde de Oro (Gold Border)
- The Leaf’s produce organic Fibers, Juice and Bagasse (Pulp).
- The preferred altitude is between 1200m and 1900m.
- Grows similar to “Agave” and requires well-drained soils.
- The productive lifetime is from 15 to 20 years.
- Leaf length is between 1.5 m and 2.0 m, and a base width of between 8 cm to 12 cm.
- Up to today only 5% is used for High-Quality Fibers.
- The former waste material (95%) will now be used due to new insights and processing methods.
- Average content, one and a half liters / kilogram or Juice / Bagasse per leaf.
- Yearly harvest 2 leaves per Fique plant.
- 2400/3000 Fique plants per hectare depending on the fique species used.
Fique & Environment
- The traditional harvesting methods used for the Fique plant result in only 5% of the fibers being used, and the remaining elements of the plant considered as waste being rejected and “dumped”.
- This means that about 95% of the Fique plant is currently treated as having no value and is simply thrown away resulting in serious environmental problems due to certain characteristics of elements in the juice and bagasse.
- The Crude Fique juice and bagasse in its raw state cause a chemical reaction when they come in contact with water (aquifers, creeks, rivers) eliminating all oxygen from the water thus killing all aquatic life.
- Native Indian populations use (d) the raw smashed leaves to catch fish that will simply cause the oxygen deficit caused by the chemical reaction or the raw juice / bagasse.
- Traditional Fique cultivation in Colombia is causing serious environmental problems which has been known for many years. Approximately 70,000 small farmers are engaged in the cultivation of the Fique plant in Colombia, so the extent of waste from the unused parts of the plant is enormous (95%) and growing exponentially.
- These problems will only continue to grow due to the very high and increasing demand for Fique fibers, without serious solutions available, until now as developed by EcoFique.
The demand for Fique fibers is more than 2 x times the present capacity available.
The government and various Fique organizations behind this already have plans in place to increase the areas for Fique cultivation and are already implementing more areas for Fique Cultivation to increase the capacity with another 20,000 hectares which is still not adequate to cover the present demand for Fique fibers .
The EcoFique Solution and our new Products
The key elements
- The Fique fibers, juice and bagasse (or pulp) contain many important elementary components and minerals needed for plant growth separately from its natural anti-fungal characteristics which are used by EcoFique.
- Colombia is the main producer of Fique fibers worldwide and continues to have a very high demand for Fique fibers.
The Fique plant’s unique characteristics
- The Fique plant’s characteristics are the basis for our EcoFique R&D activities.
- And opportunities for improvements to the global food supply chain by producing 100% organic fertilizers, fungicides and nematicides.
The facts and numbers after processing
- After our improved defibrating process (resulting in up to 6% fiber).
- The remaining 94% or the residue from the Fique is split into juice (roughly 65%) and bagasse (roughly 35%).
From juice to natural Organic fertilizer
- The Fique juice is the base raw material for our natural Organic Fertilizer.
- Fungicide, Nematicide and in the near future our R&D staff are developing an Organic Pesticide..
From bagasse to liquid spray and powder
- We filter the bagasse (cellulose & solids) into a fine sprayable powder to make proprietary fungicides and nematicides.
- The Fique plant’s characteristics and specific elements are now transformed into 100% organic fertilizers, fungicides and nematicides.
Fique & Eco-Fique
EcoFique helps to improve the environment in Colombia.
EcoFique practices fairness and ethical business procedures in the way it deals with its staff and the communities in which we live and work.