The event elicited a far bigger response from stakeholders than the two previous editions. The buyer-seller meet had 250 participants from India and abroad.

Business deals worth Rs 200 crore are expected to have taken place at the recently concluded Coir Kerala 2013, the international expo at Alappuzha.

The State Minister for Revenue and Coir Adoor Prakash said that exact volume of transactions is only being assessed. But based on discussions with exhibitors at the International Pavilion and the contracts and MoUs signed at the buyer-seller meet, there are indications that the figure may be even higher, he said.

Kerala State Coir Corporation had secured an order worth Rs 1.76 crore from Brazil. Kuthiyathodu Mats and Mattings Society, based in Alappuzha, signed a contract with the UK-based buyers to ship a container load of coir products this month.

A number of other businesses have similarly secured export orders. The Minister told reporters that three coir PSUs have managed to increase their export revenues from Rs 78 lakh to Rs 4.5 crore a year.

Small societies and cooperatives working in the sector too took advantage of the opportunity to interact directly with overseas buyers. Many of them managed to secure massive export orders this way, the Minister added.

The event had elicited a far bigger response from coir workers, manufacturers, exporters and the general public than the two previous editions, he said and added that the buyer-seller meet had 250 participants from India and abroad.

This year’s event also showcased a number of innovative products demonstrating the diversity and possibilities of coir.

We have also got a number of suggestions from different quarters on how we can make this event better next year. It has helped Kerala coir turn into a global brand, he added.

The State Government will develop new projects involving the participation of students and engineers to develop innovative value-added products using coir. Infusion of fresh ideas and energy that young people can provide is vital for the survival of the traditional coir industry.

The Minister also promised that other measures, including the use of coir products within the State such as geo-textiles to construct roads, will be explored.

The International Pavilion at Coir Kerala 2013 had 82 stalls, including four exhibits by cooperative societies. The National Pavilion featured 125 stalls, out of which 14 were of various cooperative societies. The event was attended by 165 delegates from 70 countries.

sajeevkumar.v@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 7, 2013)
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