Buoyed by the steady uptrend in exports of coir and allied environment—friendly products, the Kerala Government is chalking out a strategy to fully tap the huge domestic market for the money-spinning ’golden yarn.’

Currently, the market for coir products in India has been pegged at Rs 1,600 crore — already doubles the export value. But this, according to the state Coir Department, is less than half of what it can potentially be.

“Our target is to expand the domestic market to around Rs 4,000 crore within the next 3—4 years,” said Mr Adoor Prakash, Minister for Coir. “All that we need to do is to focus sharply on creating awareness and marketing; which is exactly what we are planning to do,” he said.

Coir Kerala 2012, a mega trade expo to be held in Alappuzha from February 4—9, is part of the government’s efforts to boost the resurgence of the coir industry, a key sector in Kerala’s economy.

Although the second edition of the event is primarily a platform for buyers and sellers to interact and has an international flavour, the parallel domestic fair would aim at promoting coir among the domestic consumers.

The bulk of the domestic sales is currently made up of home furnishings and upholstery items such as mats, rugs, tiles and carpets, conventional products that are already associated with coir.

They remain popular and their sales have received additional momentum with rising interest from urban architects and builders, who are beginning to see coir as a high—quality material for interior decoration.

However, it is the non-conventional range of products, including yarn, pith and geo-textiles, which the coir department is keen to market aggressively across the country.

(This article was published on January 22, 2012)
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