Coir Kerala 2014 gets off to a start in Alappuzha

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Alappuzha: Union Defence Minister, Shri A K Antony has asked both the Union Government and the State Government to work together for uplifting Kerala’s coir sector which was the main income generator for lakhs of workers. He was speaking after inaugurating Coir Kerala 2014, the fourth edition of the international event on coir and natural fibre products at Alapuzzha.

“We should accept the fact that the sector is in crisis. The number of people taking up employment in coir sector has fallen in the last couple of years. The government should focus on coir sector and help the sector to regain its lost charm. Though the figures show that the revenue from coir exports is increasing on a yearly basis, there are some problems hampering the development of the coir sector. We should implement various measures on a war footing to ensure sustainable development of the coir sector and the workers”, the Minister said.

Minister for Revenue & Coir, Shri Adoor Prakash said that the State Government had already appraised the Union Commerce Ministry of the issues faced by the coir sector in the State. “We have submitted a report before the Ministry on devising a scheme to procure husk and increase the price. The prime aim of the state government is to increase the wages of the coir workers. The State Government, through the income support scheme, has already increased the daily wage from Rs 150 to Rs 260”. The Minister also added that the government had already initiated several round of discussions with the Coconut Development Board for procurement of husk from the coconut farmers.

Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Shri K C Venugopal, in his key note address, said that the government should immediately formulate to a scheme for the debt-ridden coir workers who were facing legal proceedings from the bank.

Rani George, Secretary, Coir, said that the Coir Kerala 2014 had attracted buyers from across the world. “Around 17 new countries are attending the event. We have been successful in showcasing Kerala as a major producer of wide variety of coir products”.

Later, the national and international pavilions at the event were inaugurated by Shri Adoor Prakash. The event will conclude on February 05.

Kerala Biz News

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