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Lack of projects not funds slowing coir sector modernization: John

Posted on Feb 05, 03:38PM | UNI

Alappuzha, Feb 4 : It is not the dearth of funds but the lack of new projects that is becoming an obstacle to modernisation in the coir industry, Planning Board Member C P John said today.

Inaugurating the second session of national seminars at the Coir Kerala 2013 expo here, he said if the state agriculture department and agencies such as Kerafed can pool their expertise together to create new schemes for husk procurement and other activities, the Planning Board will be more than happy to extend its support.

John also urged the Centre to include coir in the national fibre policy.

'The agriculture department is currently procuring coconuts through 210 Krishi Bhavans across the state. If all agencies work together it will be so much easier to collect the husk needed for the coir industry,' he said.

John noted that coir industry could not possibly grow without a concurrent revival in coconut farming. 'Research institutions can work with the Government to develop shorter coconut palms and fruits with more husk.'

He suggested that every year on World Coconut Day on September 2, all agencies and organisations concerned meet together to chart out a work plan covering every aspect of coconut and coir production.

'The rise in coir exports despite the global economic downturn is indicative of the fact that coir is a recession-proof industry. Despite this, not enough financial support is being given for research and development in this sector,' he said.

'As cotton is loses popularity, other fibres including bamboo derivatives are gaining ground. Even bamboo fibre has been included in the national fibre policy, how is it that coir has been left out?' He urged the government to either include coir in the existing policy or create a separate one solely for coir.