Alappuzha: A variety of products that underscore the potential of value-addition and diversification in the coir industry are among the attractions of this year’s Coir Kerala trade expo here.
Although many of these are currently exhibited at the international pavilion targeting export orders, the interest they are generating among domestic buyers indicate they could soon be available to consumers in India.
Bags made of coir and other fibres have been around in the market for a while, but the variety showcased at Coir Kerala has been demonstrating their huge design possibilities.
Jute is already being used for quality products ranging from vanity and tote bags, laptop bags and backpacks, carry bags for everyday use and luxury party accessories. The National Jute Board, under the Minister of Textiles, has been coordinating their marketing.
“Coir Kerala has fast becoming an essential business platform for producers of coir and natural fibres around the country, as can be seen from the number of participants this years from outside Kerala”, said Minister for Revenue & Coir, Shri Adoor Prakash.
“We all know that a lot of centres, especially tourist destinations, are banning plastics. Fibres like coir have a large market opening up and with Coir Kerala we are attempting to give producers a chance to harness this market potential,” he added.
Among other products drawing attention at the expo is a special fabric developed by Coir Board in partnership with the central Silk Board. It is made of silk thread wrapped around strands of coir to take the coarseness off the fibre.
The fabric costs around Rs 1,200 for per metre. A jacket made of this material is displayed at their stall. “It is very comfortable to wear, especially during the winters,” said K P Roopesh, who was involved in the research process. The material has not been marketed commercially yet.
K R Anil, Director of the National Coir Research and Management Institute, which is coordinating the event, said with the backing of quality research coir can lend itself to many uses that fibres like cotton are being put to; and Coir Kerala can be an excellent platform to market them.
Kerala Biz News