AN ANCIENT BUSINESS IN INDIA “THE COIR TRADE”
COIR INDUSTRY IN INDIA
Indian coir industry is an important cottage industry contributing significantly to the economy of the major coconut growing States and Union Territories, i.e., Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Orissa, Assam, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Pondicherry, etc. About 5.5 lakh persons get employment, mostly part time, in this industry. The exports from this industry are around Rs. 70 cores. Coconut husk is the basic raw material for coir products. Around 50 per cent of the available coir husk is used to produce coir products. Hence, there is scope for growth of coir industry.
During the Seventh Plan period, encouragement has been given for expansion of home market through publicity and advertisement, product diversification, adoption of new technology, research and development, training for artisans, including women and social welfare measures for coir workers, most of whom are and women and who belong to the scheduled caste or tribes.
The Eighth Plan programmes for coir industry aimed at increased utilization of coconut husk for production of coir fibre, growth of the domestic market, strengthening of research and development to find out new uses of coir fibre especially in the areas of geo-fibre, fire retardant, cement and gypsum polymer development, acquiring of new technology like PVC-tufted coir products, encouragement to cooperativisation and providing social welfare, civic amenities and medical facilities to coir workers. Emphasis is laid on mechanization in a phased manner without affecting employment to make Indian coir products competitive in the export market. Brown coir fibre production is encouraged by providing seed capital assistance. Modernization of coir units has been envisaged by providing incentives for installation of modern equipments to make coir industry more competitive in the export market.
Special training programmes are formulated...