Chief Minister to inaugurate Coir Kerala 2016 tomorrow

Alappuzha, Jan 31: Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy will inaugurate Coir Kerala 2016, the sixth edition of the world’s biggest annual trade event on coir and natural fibres, at EMS stadium in Alappuzha today. The five-day fair will officially get underway at 5 pm.

Minister for Revenue and Coir Shri Adoor Prakash will deliver the evening’s presidential address while Coir secretary and Coir Kerala 2016 chairperson Smt. Rani George will present the welcome address. Keynote speeches will be delivered by Shri K.C. Venugopal, MP, as also MLAs Shri G. Sudhakaran, Dr Thomas Issac, Shri P.C. Vishnunath and Shri P. Thilothaman.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, the minister said, “Following the announcement at last year’s Coir Kerala to accelerate coir husk procurement, production rose from 25,000 tonnes to 60,000 tonnes. The government is targeting 75,000 tonnes by the end of this fiscal year.

Noting that “the required value for self-sustainability in coir fibre production is 2.25 metric tonne”, he added that the government had taken steps to ramp up production. “The government has distributed Rs 4.5 crore among co-operative sectors and earmarked Rs 5.5 crore to the Coir corporation’s purchase price stabilisation (PPS) scheme.”

“In addition, COIRFED has received Rs 6.5 crore to go towards coir production and an additional Rs 8 crore for miscellaneous production requirements,” the minister said, adding that “the idea has been mooted to give COIRFED Rs 4.5 crore for coir procurement”.

“Preparations to bring out the best possible showcase of Kerala’s coir are ongoing,” Sri Adoor Prakash said, noting that the Union government has provided Rs 2 crore to the Coir Kerala 2016 corpus.

Also present at the conference were Smt Rani George, FOMIL chairman Shri P. Narayanankutty, NCRMI director Shri K.R. Anil, Coir Machinery Manufacturing Company MD P.V. Sasindran and Coirfed MD Dr K. Madanan. 

Union minister for MSME Shri Kalraj Mishra will deliver the inaugural address at a national seminar presided over by Shri Adoor Prakash on Thursday, February 4. Home Minister Shri Ramesh Chennithala will preside over the valedictory function on Friday, February 5.

Delivering the keynote addresses on the concluding evening will be Shri Kodikunnil Suresh MP, and MLAs Shri G. Sudhakaran, Shri P.C. Vishunath, Shri. P. Thilothaman, Shri C.K. Sathasivan, Shri A.M. Arif, Shri Thomas Chandy and Shri R. Rajesh.

The much-awaited fair brings into close quarters an assemblage of scientists, researchers and policymakers, facilitating discussions of strategies and new initiatives to create jobs, better the conditions of coir workers, as also raise productivity and earnings across the industry.

As well as being a platform for the state’s coir producers and exporters to explore and pursue opportunities to better market their wares around the globe, Coir Kerala is also a showcase for an array of innovative coir products and technologies to increase sector productivity and profitability.

Some 156 international buyers from 54 countries in addition to domestic buyers will participate in the event with particularly strong contingents from African and Latin American nations.

The international pavilion will have 125 stalls while the national pavilion will feature 135 stalls. The event’s buyer-seller meet will be inaugurated by Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Shri PJ Kurian on February 3 to bring potential partners together through one-to-one interactions.

Minister for agriculture Shri K.P. Mohanan will inaugurate an international seminar on February 2. A number of senior officials will attend the international seminars from February 2-3 on the theme of ‘Product Diversification in Natural Fibre Scenario with Emphasis on Coir Sector’. The national seminar is themed on ‘Sustainability of Coir Industry in Kerala – Challenges and Opportunities’.

On the concluding day, Shri Adoor Prakash will interact with the thousands of participating coir workers in the morning to discuss their issues and concerns.

The event will also see audiences coming out in droves to watch well-received cultural performances by a number of prominent artistes. Noted playback singer Najeem Arshad will headline the ‘Mega Ganamela’ programme tomorrow.

Coir Kerala has played a significant role the annual increase in the quantum of and revenue from coir exports. In 2014-15, income from coir exports had increased to Rs 1,630 crore – more than double the value from the 2010-11 period:  Rs 807 crore. Likewise, the total quantity of coir exported had risen to 6.2 lakh metric tonnes from 3.2 lakh metric tonnes in the same period.

The Government of Kerala initiated the Coir Kerala programme in 2011 to rejuvenate the coir sector through fillips to production and branding. The event, coinciding with the peak of the tourist season, has become a much-awaited staple on Kerala’s calendar.

Among the dignitaries delivering felicitations today are Alappuzha Panchayat president Shri G. Venugopal, director of Coir Development Shri K.N. Satheesh, district collector Shri N. Padma Kumar, Municipal chairman Shri Thomas Joseph, Coir Machinery Manufacturing Company chairman Shri D. Sugathan, Coir Workers Welfare Board chairman Shri A.K. Rajan, Coir Kerala working chairpersons Shri M.K. Abdul Gafoor Haji and Shri A.A. Shukoor, Coir Corporation chairman Shri K.R.  Rajendra Prasad, FOMIL chairman Shri P. Narayanankutty, Ex-MP Shri T.J. Anjalose, Coirfed chief administrator Shri K.M. Raju, NCRMI director Shri K.R. Anil and Coir Board secretary Shri Kumararaja.

Thiruvananthapuram-based National Coir Research and Management Institute (NCRMI) is the event’s coordinating agency.


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