The Coir Board will involve voluntary organisations in the Malabar region in its efforts to popularise the mini de-fibering machines it has developed with the objective of increasing availability of coir fibre and production of coir products in the region that accounts for 50 per cent of coconut production in the State.

Announcing this at a press conference here on Thursday, Coir Board Chairman G. Balachandran said that the coir industry in the State was concentrated in some areas in the southern parts of the State, though the northern districts of Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode, and Malappuram accounted for 50 per cent of coconut production. Only less 25 per cent of total coconut husks available in the State was being used for coir production. The industry in the State was now procuring fibre mainly from Tamil Nadu. The mini de-fibering machine was expected to increase fibre production and meet the requirements in the State. The Board had initiated steps to introduce mobile de-fibering machines in different parts of the State, he said.

Mr. Balachandran said the motorised coir ratt developed by the Board would be a boon at a time when the coir sector was witnessing decline in the number of workers. He said the coir composite board that could replace wood would be popularised. Plywood manufacturers in Kannur and Kozhikode districts would be roped in for manufacturing boards using coir. The coir geotextiles was being increasingly used for road constructions.