Agri Business

Co-op coir factory makes big strides

Our Bureau Gubbi (Tumkur district) | Updated on January 27, 2011

A cooperative coir factory in Gubbi of Tumkur district is now making a comeback, keeping pace with changes in technology and adopting the latest developments in production techniques and designs.

The factory run by the Thengina Narina Kushala Kaigarika Sahakara Sangha (TNKKSS) at Thygatur in Gubbi taluk has come a long way from producing simple ropes to a variety of newly designed lifestyle products.

The 15-year old factory has made a turnaround, utilising a loan of Rs 2.05 crore from the National Agricultural and Rural Development (Nabard) and the Coir Board. The factory produces annually 240 tonnes of coir fibre and provided employment to nearly 400 growers directly and indirectly, 20 per cent of them being women.

The factory's three satellite units are expected to commence operations soon and fibre production is expected to touch 800 tonnes a year.

The factory contributed substantially in bringing out a wide variety of coir products such as carpets, waste boxes, drawing or computer tables, garden articles, wardrobes, telephone stands, tepoys, panels and organic manure.

The factory was also making an effort to export these products, Mr G.V. Reddy, and Mr G. Ananthakrishnan of Nabard and T S Kidigannappa of TNKKSS, said.

Under the Nabard's Umbrella Programme on Natural Resource Management, the TNKKSS received Rs 2.05 crore for the Integrated Coir Cluster Development Project in Gubbi. The project covered the main coir factory at Thyagatur and satellite units at Nittur, Hoskere and Kadaba in Gubbi.

The factory has become a commercially viable venture and it has been bagging orders from both the government and corporate sectors.

The factory at Thyagatur, which started operations last April, has bagged orders from Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL); Malnad Engineering College, Hassan; Kurlon, Abhay Infotech, Ahmedabad; the State Education Department, and from various furniture showrooms in Tumkur and Bangalore.

The TNKKSS, registered in 1966, received loans of Rs 55 lakh from Coir Board, Rs 24 lakh from Nabard, Rs 11.80 lakh from the State Government and mobilised Rs 4.05 lakh from its 350 members for modernisation works of the main factory.

The Coir Board has provided technology for developing various designs of products, which are eco-friendly and water-proof. They are five to 10 per cent cheaper than plywood.

Home designers, furniture outlets, and industrialists are preferring coir products because they are “value for money”, a substitute for synthetic fibres, eco-friendly and versatile, light on the wallet, durable and weather resistant, said Mr Kidigannappa.

While BHEL has ordered 500 boxes manufactured out of coir fibre for packing electrical insulators, Malnad Engineering College, Hassan, ordered panels for 300 desks.

“We are unable to meet the orders placed by Kurlon.” The factory has set a profit target of Rs 8 crore in 2011-12.

Even though Tumkur is one of the leading districts in coconut production, only 15 per cent of the coconut husk is being used for fibre extraction. The district's annual production is about 97.15 crore nuts, of which around 66 crore husks are available for processing.

Out of the available husk, about 17 crore are used for fibre extraction while the remaining husk is used for fuel by households and small industries, officials said.

Published on January 27, 2011

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