The coir sector in the State is targeting a turnover of Rs.1,000 crore from this financial year through the sale of indigenous products, Coir and Health Minister Adoor Prakash has said.

Launching a gasifier plant at the State-run public sector undertaking, Foam Mattings India Limited (FOMIL), here on Friday, the Minister said the previous fiscal had seen a turnover of Rs.800 crore.

One of the major impediments that the sector faced was the shortage of coir fibre, which was being procured from Tamil Nadu.

This was not because Kerala did not have adequate coir fibre, but because the fibre collection process was yet to be streamlined, Mr. Prakash said.

The Minister also urged organisations such as the Kudumbasree to prioritise fibre collection among their activities.

The gasifier plant, set up at an expense of Rs.50 lakh, is expected to reduce production costs at FOMIL at the rate of Rs.1.5 lakh a day. The plant uses firewood and coconut shells to produce gas.

Private participation

Earlier, speaking at a review meeting at the Collectorate, Mr. Prakash said the government was contemplating on choosing Alappuzha as the permanent venue for the International Coir Festival, the second edition of which would be held next year.

Plans were also afoot to organise the event with help from the private sector.

The meeting on Friday has constituted an organising committee for Coir Kerala 2012, which will be held from February 4 to 9 here.

The committee has Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Leader of Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Union Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi, Union Minister of State for Power K.C. Venugopal, Coir Minister Adoor Prakash, Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty and veteran politician K.R. Gouri as its chief patrons.

G. Sudhakaran, MLA, presided over the function.

P. Thilothaman, MLA, district panchayat president Prathibha Hari, Municipal Chairperson Mercy Diana Macido, FOMIL chairman Munjinattu Ramachandran and others were present .

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