Home Minister lauds positive changes in sector
Alappuzha, Feb 1: Growing the country’s export economy is the need of the hour and coir is the ideal sector to make this happen, said Home Minister Shri Ramesh Chennithala as he inaugurated the sixth edition of Coir Kerala 2016 at the EMS stadium in Alappuzha today.
The five-day fair, the biggest international event on coir and natural fibre, brings together manufacturers, buyers, technology developers and policy makers in this traditional, coastal hub of the industry.
“Many positive and revolutionary changes have been initiated in this crisis-ridden sector over the past nearly five years,” said Shri Chennithala. “Daily wages have gone up from Rs 100 to Rs 300 and pension has doubled to Rs 600. While the world faces a recession and imports are growing over exports, the coir sector can help to increase exports.”
The Minister suggested that the government will spend more money on R&D to bring quality products to the foreign, as well as domestic markets. He exhorted the substantial foreign delegation who was present at the inaugural function to “tell the world about this eco-friendly and sturdy product that is ideally suited to any weather”.
Minister for Revenue and Coir Shri Adoor Prakash spoke about attaining self-sufficiency in raw material, rather than depending on Tamil Nadu for fibre. “The government is willing to aid local panchayats who will work Kudumbashree groups for the procurement of husk. We need to have discussions with union leaders on the need to mechanise; new technology from the National Coir Research and Managment Institute (NCRMI) and the Coir Machinery Factory in Alappuzha will help towards this.”
Shri Prakash pointed out that the state can build the process of a sustainable model if at least half of the agriculture department’s figures of Rs 600 crore of coconut produce could be collected for raw material in husk.
“The coir sector employs 3.75 lakh workers, of whom 80 per cent are women workers, and the government policies are formulated keeping in sight their social and economic wellbeing,” said Coir secretary and Coir Kerala 2016 chairperson Smt Rani George.
Also present at the function today were Municipal chairman Shri Thomas Joseph, director of Coir Development Shri K.N. Satheesh, district collector Shri N Padma Kumar, NCRMI director Shri K.R. Anil and Coir Machinery Manufacturing Company chairman Shri D Sugathan, among others.
The inaugural programme concluded with a musical performance by Malayalam playback singer Najim Harshad, and Sangeetha Prabhu and party.
The event, organised by the state government’s Department of Coir Development, in association with the Department of Commerce and Industry, hosts an international pavilion with 125 stalls; and a national pavilion with 135 stalls, which is open to the public from 10am to 9pm from this Tuesday to Friday.
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