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Coir Kerala 2012 bags Rs 1bn export orders
Feb '12
The recently concluded second edition of the international coir product expo, 'Coir Kerala 2012' has succeeded in drawing export orders worth one billion rupees.

This is a big leap over the business of just Rs. 100 million generated during the first edition of the expo, last year, when it failed to attract many international buyers.

The fair organized by the Kerala state government went on from February 4 to February 9, this year, and attracted participation of more than 86 overseas buyers and 51 Indian firms, majority of them being small and medium sized enterprises.

In spite of the coir industry being an emerging sector in India, the country exported coir products worth Rs. 8.07 billion in 2010-11. By end of current fiscal, the coir industry is expecting to attain Rs. 10 billion in exports and Rs. 16 billion in domestic sales.

Kerala is a centre of coir items and contributes around 90 percent of total coir products manufactured in the country. In Kerala too, 99 percent of the production bases are located in the Alappuzha district, which is thus considered the main hub of coir manufacturing.

The coir industry in Kerala is confronted with many challenges like paucity of coir fibre, which is mainly obtained from coconuts. It is because coconuts are not professionally cultivated in Kerala, and these are grown individually in houses, with each house having around four to five trees.

Hence, it becomes difficult to collect coconut husk, and the state imports more than half of its raw husk requirement from Tamil Nadu. The task of husk collection is easier in Tamil Nadu, where coconut trees are grown in plantations.

Aiming to reduce reliance on Tamil Nadu, the Kerala coir development authorities are now trying to develop their husk collection system and are also introducing small machines that have a capacity to process as little as 2000 husks per day.

According to experts, improvement in product quality and packaging has also played a part in renaissance of the coir industry.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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