Economy

Sops likely for high value coir goods

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on August 16, 2011 Published on August 16, 2011

Mr Uday Kumar Varma, Secretary, Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), has stressed the need to speed up mechanisation, value addition and diversification of the coir sector in order to sustain the country's dominance in the global coir export market.

Speaking at an interactive session with the stakeholders in the coir industry convened by the Coir Board, Mr Varma said his Ministry was in the process of finalising the 12th Plan document (2012-17) aimed at enhancing the contributions of the MSME sector.

He also sought the views of the coir sector in formulating its policies for the next five years.

Mr Varma, who is on a four-day visit to study the status of the MSME sector in the State, called for stepping up R&D efforts in the industry. Though the Central Coir Research Institute (CCRI) under the Coir Board was making earnest efforts in this sphere, R&D activities are not the monopoly of the CCRI, he said.

He also inaugurated a pneumatic wooden handloom weaving unit, developed by the CCRI and designed for enhanced productivity. It could be operated by a woman with minimum effort and also offers scope for weaving various mats based on requirement.

Although divergent views emerged at the meeting especially on limiting subsidies to certain sectors of the industry and on permitting uncontrolled raw material exports at the cost of the export oriented industry, to disputes over certification procedures followed by the Coir Board, Mr Varma pointed out that the government was also thinking in terms of extending incentives to high value products to boost export revenue.

He also wanted measures to strengthen husk procurement by Kerala to reduce its growing dependence on neighbouring Tamil Nadu for raw materials.

Earlier, Mr Varma also inaugurated the Common Facility Centre (CFC) of the Vaikom Coir Cluster in Kottayam district, the fourth in the series of five coir clusters allotted to Kerala.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Varma said his ministry was planning to draw up a blue print for the overall development of the coir industry plagued already by low productivity and meagre wages. For this, he intended to elicit the views all stake holders of the industry.

Published on August 16, 2011
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