Marketing drive, awareness creation on products planned

Coir Board expects to more than triple the annual sale of coir and coir products in the domestic market over the next two years from the current level of roughly Rs.1,500 crore through a mix of sustained marketing campaigns and awareness creation about coir products.

Coir Board Chairman G. Balachandran has said that the board’s efforts were now focussed on overcoming impediments to marketing of coir products effectively in the domestic market.

These impediments included a lack of identity for coir products in India and the bulkiness of some of these products.

Physical qualities like their bulk have turned coir products unattractive to buyers in some parts of India, especially where they are not familiar with the coir industry. But these problems are being continuously worked upon and a significant amount of success has been achieved in reducing weight and thickness of coir mats, he said.

As part of creating awareness, the board has put together a ‘Coir Kranti Yatra’, a mobile exhibition of coir products from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.

The Yatra has covered eight States and is now in Delhi. Coir products have also been exhibited in Delhi at four venues, which have been visited by about two lakh people already, he said. The exhibition and the Yatra are part of the 60th anniversary of the Coir Board.

The quality of coir products has also been increased significantly by mixing other fibres like jute and sisal silk with coir.

The results have been good and encouraged more diversification of products.

The Coir Board has also launched the process of appointing more retailers across India. The exercise is aimed at increasing the number of dealers from the current 30 to about 100, he said. The board has already appointed two zonal distributors, one each to cater to Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa; and for the rest of the States.

The key challenge being faced by coir products is from plastic and fibre substitutes, he said while pointing out that the environment friendliness of coir products is the major attraction for discerning buyers.

This factor has made coir products very attractive to buyers in the developed countries.

Coir products export earnings touched Rs.1,116 crore during the last financial year from the level of Rs.1,052 crore during the previous year.

Coir exports between April and September this year stands approximately at Rs. 612 crore with nearly five per cent growth in value. Coir exports were worth Rs. 587 crore during the same period last year.

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