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Temporary shortage of coir fibre in coir production sector
Aug '10
There was a temporary and seasonal shortage of coir fibre in the export oriented production sector of the coir industry in Kerala during the second half of 2009 which had affected the functioning of small scale coir units in the export oriented production sector of Alleppey in Kerala.

The shortage of white fibre used in the export oriented sector in Kerala was mainly due to non availability of green coconut husk in the market caused by a fall in coconut price. In addition there has been a slow down in the fibre production activities in Kerala due to drudgery in operation, increasing awareness of pollution aspects of the environment due to retting, increased use of coconut husk for firewood purpose, etc.

The non-existence of adequate number of functioning fibre extraction units and husk collection mechanism in Kerala are also causes for shortage of coir fibre. The export of coir fibre which was 1553 tonnes valued at Rs. 196 lakh during 2005-06 increased to the level of 73075 tonnes valued at Rs. 9742 lakh during 2009-10.

The Coir Board, a statutory body under the administrative control of Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, in association with the Government of Kerala has initiated several steps to improve the supply position of coir fibre in Kerala.

The Board has taken up a project for revival of two defibering units, established by the Govt. of Kerala, by modernizing the machinery so that the State Government could take up the work of revival of remaining units. The Coir Board has also facilitated the COIRFED, an apex federation of Government of Kerala to source coir fibre from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in addition to Tamil Nadu.

The Central Coir Research Institute (CCRI), Kalavoor (Coir Board) has developed a mobile defibering machine which can be taken to the interior villages where the small quantities of husks collected can be converted into coir fibre. The technology of this new machine developed by the CCRI has been transferred to the Government of Kerala for popularization. It is expected that with the popularization of this machine, production of coir fibre will increase considerably.

Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises

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