Coir agencies should coordinate better: K C Venugopal
Alappuzha, Feb 4 : The multitude of coir agencies that have been set up in India need to have better coordination among themselves to resolve the problems facing the sector and to fast-track its growth, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation K C Venugopal said here today.
'There are so many agencies at the central and state levels, but there remains a lack of coordination between them that is worrying and needs to be addressed urgently,' he said.
Mr Venugopal made this observation during his inaugural address at an international seminar on 'Accelerating value added products of coir fibre: Challenges and Opportunities of developing natural fibre composites for industry cluster' organised as part of the six-day Coir Kerala 2013 that began on February 1.
The Minister pointed out that the emergence of strong coir industries in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu that were challenging Kerala's dominance in this sector.
'We have to think about it and arrest this trend,' he said at the seminar, attended by experts and entrepreneurs in the sector from India and abroad,' he said.
Venugopal also stressed the need for value addition to make the coir industry sustainable. 'Majority of exports are in the area of value added products. The coir industry in Kerala also needs to do it. There is a need for bringing in the market innovative value added products, which will require proper research.' Observing that the government had been spending big for the coir sector, he said Rs 1.03 crore was earmarked in the current budget for the coir sector. However, he noted that the allocation of a large sum alone would not serve the purpose of uplifting the quality of life of coir workers.
'We should bring back the industry to our state. There are a lot of apprehensions and challenges facing the coir industry. We should bring out a roadmap and chalk out realistic plans and popular schemes for workers in the coir sector,' he added.