Trivandrum: A large and virtually untapped market for coir exists within the country which could potentially drive the resurgence of Kerala’s coir industry, according to Minister for Revenue & Coir, Shri Adoor Prakash. Initiatives such as the Coir Kerala trade event, which enters in its third edition this year, target revival of Kerala’s traditional coir industry by facilitating business interactions, discussions on R&D and technology exchange.
“Coir products manufactured in Kerala are in demand in nearly every State, we must take advantage of the opportunity this presents,” the Minister said. “The Government has supported and will continue to support coir manufacturers and businesses. However, ultimately it is market expansion that drives the industry’s growth.” The State government is hoping to nearly double domestic sales of coir to Rs 5,000 crores in the next five years.
More than 240 domestic buyers are taking part in Coir Kerala 2013, which takes place in Alappuzha from February 1-6. The event, which will also feature a range of products made out of other natural fibres such as jute and sisal, will have exhibitors from other States will showcase a variety of coir products. Coir public sector units, cooperatives, non-governmental organisations and R&D institutes will have exhibition space at the event. More than 160 foreign delegates from 60 countries will take part.
The emphasis at Coir Kerala this year is on exploring product diversification that will give coir wider appeal. Geotextiles, horticultural products, medicinal coir, handicraft and rubberised coir have already found good markets, and R&D institutes are coming up with new ways to add value to coir.
“We are planning to set up a Rs.30 crore state-of-the-art coir factory complex through the Coir Corporation to support product diversification. We are also finalising details of a coir composite board factory to be set up under Foam Mattings (India) Ltd., while work the new coir machinery factory in Alappuzha has already been completed”, he added.
Coir Kerala 2013 provides the perfect platform for the State as it targets greater mechanisation in the coir industry, skills upgradation and improved working conditions for coir workers, higher productivity, quality improvement and wider markets.
Kerala Biz News