Hopes for exports grow as Coir Kerala attracts more buyers

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Alappuzha: As a platform to facilitate trade interactions at an international level, the Buyer-Seller Meet organised today as part of Coir Kerala 2013 turned out to be a hugely rewarding exercise for not just well-established exporters but fledgling societies and cooperatives as well.

The meet which facilitated one-to-one interactions between coir product manufacturers and buyers from India and abroad, will be crucial to generating the Rs 200 crores worth of export orders expected from Coir Kerala 2013.

Around 170 foreign delegates attended in the meet this time – more than double that of last year, with around 250 domestic participants taking part. The number of countries represented at the fair is also far higher than last with. With nearly 60 countries participating, coir manufacturers have the opportunity to not just expand into traditional markets such as US, UK and Germany, but explore newer markets such as Saudi Arabia, Africa and Latin American nations.

Inaugurating the Buyer-Seller meet, Minister for Finance Shri K M Mani said given the demand for Kerala’s coir globally, the industry here can take great leaps forward by putting emphasis on mechanisation and product diversification. He sought suggestions from the participants on ways to strengthen government initiatives for the coir industry.

A Saudi Arabian firm has put forward a proposal for the use of geotextiles for soil stabilisation and to prevent saline water intrusion in aquifiers. A project demonstration will be ready by the end of next month with the National Coir Research and Management Institute (NCRMI) as technology provider, and Coir Corporation entrusted with the physical implementation.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Shri K C Venugopal said that the multitude of coir agencies that have been set up in India need to have better coordination among themselves to resolve the problems facing the sector and to fast-track its growth. He made this observation during his inaugural address at an international seminar on ‘Accelerating value added products of coir fibre: Challenges & Opportunities of developing natural fibre composites for industry cluster’ organized as part of the six-day Coir Kerala 2013.

Kerala Biz News

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