Coir-based innovation key to changing wrong public mindsets: Shri K.P. Mohanan

Alappuzha, Feb 2: Stating that “every seed and every plant of Kerala is the pride of the state”, Minister for Agriculture Shri K.P. Mohanan on Tuesday lamented that the domestic consumer harbours the mindset that processed, imported goods are better than “our own natural bounty”.

The minister was inaugurating the two-day series of international seminars themed on ‘Product Diversification in Natural Fibre Scenario with Emphasis on Coir Sector’.

He addressed the crowd during a session on ‘Development of Organic Sound Paneling System using Coir Products’ at the EMS stadium, the venue for Coir Kerala 2016.  The session, presided over by Minister for Revenue and Coir Shri Adoor Prakash, discussed the various applications of Coir’s natural sound-absorption properties.

“From virgin coconut oil to coir, the gifts of the coconut and agriculture are being lost to the people,” Shri K.P. Mohanan said, hoping that “such seminars will teach Malayalees the importance of our home-grown produce and products”.

Hailing indigenously developed coir-based technologies as exemplars of marketable innovation, Shri Adoor Prakash called for sustained efforts to increase their profitability. 

The ‘Accoir’ sound paneling system, developed by the National Coir Research and Management Institute (NCRMI) in partnership with the Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID), came in for special praise.

“Accoir is a superior, sustainable yet low-cost and organic alternative to synthetic acoustic design products that are presently being used in construction, architecture and engineering,” Shri Adoor Prakash said.

Noting that “acoustic panels used for interior decoration and as sound barriers is still a very niche market”, he said that “introducing an organic product in this segment, especially one derived from as sustainable a material as coir, could be a very successful move commercially for both the coir sector and our commercial partners”.

To this end, he said the state government is in the process of initiating a PPP along the lines of the CIAL (Cochin International Airport Limited) model.

Delivering the vote of thanks, NCRMI director Dr K.R. Anil said, “Accoir was a long-cherished dream of the coir sector: to develop innovative, commercially-viable and sustainable products.” 

The seminar was also attended by representatives of IIID, architects Shri Sajan Pulimoodu, Shri Babu Cheriyan and Shri Mathew M. George, among others.

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