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Coir, the underplayed all-rounder from region

Special Correspondent
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It can be used in gardens, to make roads, jewellery, check sea erosion… the list is endless

Coir colour:A visitor examining jewellery made of coir at an exhibition on wheels called Coir Kranti Express, which reached Mangalore on Monday. The Express will tour 19 states.— Photo: R. Eswarraj
Coir colour:A visitor examining jewellery made of coir at an exhibition on wheels called Coir Kranti Express, which reached Mangalore on Monday. The Express will tour 19 states.— Photo: R. Eswarraj

A sub-regional centre and showroom of coir products will be started in Mangalore, said T.M. Shahid, Member, Coir Board. He was speaking after ‘Coir Kranthi Express’, an initiative of the Coir Board to popularise coir and coir products among people through ‘Indian Coir Road Show’ was inaugurated in Mangalore on Tuesday. The vehicle showcasing a range of coir products started last Tuesday from Kanyakumari.

The Express is part of the programme to popularise coir organised by the Coir Board and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) under the banner ‘Coir revolution through modernisation, mechanisation, diversification and commercialisation’.

Mr. Shahid said coir can be put to various uses in gardens, roads, to check sea erosion and has been used in the runway at Calicut International Airport.

Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology and in-charge of Dakshina Kannada District Ramanath Rai, who flagged off the Express said coir could be used to make several value-added products. “We are from a region that produces coir but we are not informed about its many uses,” he said.

Arun Dinesh, team leader of the crew that was in-charge of the showcase on wheels, said that the vehicle had “first demonstration pieces” of coir and was aimed at informing people that the products were available at coir outlets of the government. The products included coir-tufted mats, footwear, garments, jewellery, furniture, bricks and decorative miniature animals.

Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, presided over the event.

In Udupi

From Udupi, the Express was flagged off by Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake on Tuesday. He said more coir training centres should be started in Udupi district. Mr. Sorake said there were only three coir training centres – at Nittur, Jadkal and Eedu villages in Maoist-affected belt.

The coir industry had a lot of potential to generate employment. Among the states in the country, Kerala had exploited the potential of coir industry to the maximum. The Coir Board’s initiative to popularize coir products was laudable, Mr. Sorake said.

T.M. Shahid, member of Coir Board, said that among the states in the country, Kerala stood first in production of coir and coir products, followed by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Upendra Nayak, President of Zilla Panchayat, Gowri Poojary, President of Udupi Taluk Panchayat and M.T. Reju, Deputy Commissioner, were present.

19 states tour

The vehicle will go to 19 states. It will move on Wednesday to Goa and then go on to Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi over the next 90 days.

Its arrival in Delhi will coincide with the World Coir Fair, organised by the Coir Board. From November 14 to 30, the fair will feature product sales, exhibition and seminars on coir at Pragati Maidan, Chetanalaya and Dilli Haat.

According to Coir Board’s website, India exported coir products worth Rs.1,116 crore in 2012-13. To boost sales, the Coir Board plans to open 1,000 sales outlets across India.

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