Alappuzha: The Kerala government has granted Coirfed, the apex body of coir cooperatives in the State, Rs. 5 crore to supply raw fibres at subsidised rates to coir cooperatives, Minister for Revenue and Coir Shri Adoor Prakash announced today.
Speaking to reporters here a day before the start of the five-day Coir Kerala 2014 international trade event, the Minister said that Coirfed has been given additional funding to continue its programme of supplying subsidised fibre to societies that have been struggling to procure raw materials because of rising costs. Since November last year, Coirfed has supplied more than 15,500 quintals of coir fibre to various units at a rate of Rs 20 per kg against market rates of up to Rs 28 per kg.
“One of the most pressing problems related by nearly all cooperative societies I have visited is that they are unable to get fibre stocks on time and the high cost. With this grant, the government hopes to strengthen the ongoing programme of subsidisation,” he said. “This may not resolve the shortage issue at once, but it is a crucial step forward.”
The Minister said the State government has also decided to extend to the Coir Workers’ Welfare Board a matching grant of 50%, amounting to Rs 2.5 crore, to support the various initiatives taken up the board for employees in the sector. He also announced that the new Coir Machine Factory, set up in Alappuzha to help with the mechanisation of the traditional industry, has now been formally registered and will be commissioned in February itself.
One of the first industrial machinery to be manufactured at the facility will be the crusher-integrated fibre extraction unit developed by the National Coir Research and Management Institute (NCRMI), the nodal agency for Coir Kerala 2014. He also added the Coir Department has already held three rounds of discussions with the Coconut Development Board to explore the possibility of fibre supply.
Present at the press conference were Rani George, Secretary (Coir); Anil K R, Director NCRMI; Dr K Madanan, Director of Coir Development; A K Rajan, Chairman, Kerala State Coir Workers’ Welfare Fund Board and K R Rajendra Prasad, Chairman, Kerala State Coir Corporation.
Kerala Biz News