Staff Reporter

Vast portion of the domestic market yet to be exploited, says Sudhakaran

ALAPPUZHA: The National Coir Research and Management Institute (NCRMI) will undertake a national sample survey to assess the domestic market for coir products.

The survey will also provide a footing for the State Government to find ways to increase accumulation and utilization of coconut husk, Coir Minister G. Sudhakaran said here on Saturday.

Addressing a workshop on ‘Research Agenda on Coir’, the Minister said though there was an encouraging rise in export of coir products, a vast portion of the domestic market was yet to be exploited.

The survey, which would be carried out “with or without” the support of the Union Government, would also look at ways of increasing the collection of coconut husk, less than 50 per cent only of which was being gathered now.

Pointing out that though there were claims that coir geo-textiles had abundant possibilities, research in that field was yet to yield any results.

The existing trend of research for the sake of research had to change, Mr. Sudhakaran said, stressing upon the need for research to focus on practical solutions to uplift the coir industry.

The Minister also called for research on looms that could reduce workload and increase productivity, efficient use of colours, technology to merge coir with wool and other fibre material to produce composite products and also ways other than conventional methods to increase usage of coir products.

Earlier, inaugurating the workshop, former Technical Education Director R.V.G. Menon said the trend of research being governed by funding agencies had to change.

The fixing of agenda for research also had to be made transparent, he said.

K.S. Manoj, MP, P. Thilothaman, Anathalavattom Anandan, MLAs, Coir Development director N.K. Mohanan, Science Technology and Environment Council chairman E.P. Yasodharan and others also spoke.