Coir Board chief rues poor focus on sector

“Care for ‘Kera’ [coconut] in Kerala has gone down as the State must not rest on its traditional legacy in the coir industry,” according to D. Kuppuramu, Chairman of Coir Board.

“I am very much worried,” he said here on Friday when asked whether dents had emerged in the Kerala’s coir industry, especially in the traditional sector. “It is a land known for Kera. But you have not been in a position to take care of coconut and its products,” Mr. Kuppuramu said.

Stating that the Coir Board is mounting pressure on the Centre and the State to take care of ‘Kera’, the Chairman suggested improved focus on creating awareness on the importance of coconut cultivation. “The demand is higher now, but we have not yet been able to increase the utilisation of local resources. If you are using at least 80% of the local resources, our domestic and export market share in the coir sector will go up from the current ₹20,000 crore to ₹1 lakh crore,” he said.

On the export front, Mr. Kuppuramu said coir exports had gone up to ₹4,340 crore in the current fiscal compared to the ₹3,799 crore recorded in 2020-21. There was an increase of 14.8% in terms of value, while the corresponding figure in terms of quantity was 6.2%, he said.

Maintaining that the board has invested in research and development to create more value-added products, Mr. Kuppuramu said around 1,674 kilometres of road will be constructed using coir geo textiles in seven States. There will be a requirement of one crore sq.m. of coir geo textiles, the estimated cost of which will be around ₹70 crore, he said.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 9:30:01 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/coir-board-chief-rues-poor-focus-on-sector/article65761307.ece