Agri Business

Call for National Coir Mission

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on February 15, 2011 Published on February 14, 2011

Coir products (file photo): H Vibhu   -  Business Line

The Coir Board has sought the intervention of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to set up a National Coir Mission for the holistic development of coir industry given its potential for growth in rural employment generation and exports.

In a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister during his three-day Kerala visit, the Board Chairman, Mr V.S. Vijayaraghavan, said coir products were encountering stiff competition from other natural fibre products and synthetics in the international market.

This has resulted in the progressive decline in the share of traditional handloom products in the export basket, and fall in the unit value realisation of coir products.

These would have a cascading effect on the coir product exports, if effective steps were not taken immediately.

Coir products exports touched Rs 804 crore last year compared with Rs 593 crore earned during 2007-08, registering a 35.58 per cent increase.

Coir was one among the few sectors that withstood the adverse impact of global economic recession, he said.

To overcome these hurdles, the Chairman suggested speedy modernisation of the traditional coir sector, extension of more incentives for exports and domestic market development, introduction of a fool-proof mechanism to augment procurement of raw materials, especially raw husk, for the uninterrupted working of the production sector and implementation of more welfare measures to the workers.

He also appealed to the Prime Minister to introduce a special package for the coir sector over a period of five years.

Stating that production of coir fibre has increased by 17.74 per cent from 4,37,800 tonnes to 5,15,500 tonnes, the memorandum pointed out that the number of coir product manufacturing units had also gone up from 11,024 to 14,050, a growth of 27.44 per cent, providing additional employment generation to 26,450 artisans, predominantly women.

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Published on February 14, 2011
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