The eighth edition of Coir Kerala, an international expo on coir and natural fibre products, will be held in Alappuzha from December 4 to 8.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the five-day event at EMS Stadium, Minister for Finance and Coir T.M. Thomas Isaac said, while formally launching the website of the programme. The annual event had been put off last year because of floods.
The government is hopeful that the buyers’ meet at the programme would expand its market base for coir-based products. The session, being arranged in association with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), is expected to attract international delegates and stakeholders of the domestic market. Dr. Isaac said the deliberations could provide impetus to the government’s efforts to market coir products through retail chains in the country.
Parallel sessions would be organised for innovators, people’s representatives and workers of the coir industry to suggest steps to revitalise the sector.
Dr. Isaac said the government had tripled coir production within three years. While the annual production stood at 65,000 quintals when the LDF government had come into power, the output is set to touch 2 lakh quintals this year and possibly, 4 lakh quintals by the end of the next year.
As part of a ₹1,300-crore revival package for coir sector, steps were under way to achieve self-sufficiency in coir fibre production. Currently, the State depended heavily on the import from Tamil Nadu to manufacture coir products.
300 more mills
The government had already established 100 coir mills under the scheme. With the setting up of 300 more mills by the end of the next year, the State would be able to process half of the coconut husks available locally.
In addition, 1,000 automatic spinning machines would be deployed this fiscal to step up coir production, Dr. Isaac said.