Alappuzha: The Kerala government has announced an overhaul of its husk procurement scheme to meet a long-standing demand from the coir industry to address shortage of raw materials.
Minister for Revenue and Coir, Shri Adoor Prakash said the new scheme will equip workers in the sector to create a vast procurement network through various incentives and utilise as much of the 600 crore of coconut husk that the state produces annually.
The shortage of coconut husk, the basic raw material for coir production, is one of the biggest challenges faced by Kerala. “Schemes were introduced in 2010 and 2012 to streamline husk procurement, but they have not yielded the desired results. Despite the subsidies we are still dependent on husk from other states,” the Minister said.
“This is a situation that needs to be remedied. What we have done now is introduce a more practical scheme that not just resolves the procurement issue but is designed to provide more working days for coir sector workers,” he added.
Under the scheme, individuals who bring raw husk for processing at accredited fibre making units will be given incentive at the rate of 25 paise for every green husk and 15 paise for dry husk.
Coir cooperatives who procure the husk directly or through agents will be provided transport costs of Rs. 250 for every 5,000 husks and Rs. 50 for every additional 1,000 husks.
Workers in cooperatives that use defibering machines will receive, in addition to their wages, incentives at the rate of Rs. 160 for every 400 green husks they procure and Rs. 20 for every additional 50 husks. For dry husk the rate will be Rs. 150 for every 600 dry husks and Rs. 25 for every addition 100 husks.
The government will also subsidize coir fibre at Rs 3 per kg for green husk and Rs 2 per kg for dry husk.
A working capital of up to Rs. 2 lakh will be given to coir cooperatives as a revolving fund to procure husk. Cooperatives that use large machines will get up to Rs. 50,000 and mini-defibring units will receive up to Rs. 10,000 per machine as repair and maintenance reimbursements annually.
Kerala Biz News