The Forest Department has joined hands with Coir Board, and an NGO in Udumlapet, to train women in Karattupathi tribal settlement in the district to make value-added products from coir, and coconut shell.
“Our aim is to help improve the livelihood of the women in tribal settlement so that their dependency on minor forest produces for earnings will come down,” said District Forest Officer A. Periasamy.
The Coir Board has designated P.A. Nijakumari from Alappuzha in Kerala, who has experience in the production of value-added products from coconut fibre and shell, the trainer.
“The 20 women, who attend the programme here, are taught to manufacture handicrafts, ornaments, fancy items, and floor mats from coir over a period of nearly three weeks,” said Ms. Nijakumari.
According to her, coir products have a good market both within and outside the country.
“Women who have received similar training in Kerala in the last few decades, are now earning well through the sale of coir products,” she said.
There is a word of caution from Ms. Nijakumari for the trainees. “They have to constantly hone their skills and look for innovations themselves even after the current training session is over.”