Mr. Vijayan was virtually inaugurating an expo on coir in Alappuzha on Tuesday
The State government is ready to procure the entire coir produced in the State, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said.
He was virtually inaugurating the Coir Kerala 2021, an expo on coir and natural fibre products, on Tuesday.
Mr. Vijayan said that the coir production in the State would soon touch four lakh quintals. “From 70,000 quintals, the production increased to two lakh quintals in last fiscal. The government will procure all locally produced coir regardless of whatever be the production,” the Chief Minister said.
He said that the government would protect traditional coir workers while implementing projects for modernisation and mechanisation of the sector.
“The average annual income of coir workers has doubled during the tenure of this government. Of the 585 coir societies, 385 are now making profits. The second coir reorganisation has helped the industry reclaim the lost glory. The Coir Kerala 2021 will aid in the growth of the industry in the post-COVID-19 period,” he said.
Minister for Finance and Coir T.M. Thomas Isaac said that the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways had promised to use coir geotextiles up to 10% in constructions under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
“Using geotextiles in road construction will open up a huge market potential for coir. The annual income of coir workers will increase to ₹one lakh in the future. Diversification and mechanisation will aid the growth of the sector,” he said.
Dr. Isaac said that orders worth ₹120 crore for coir geotextiles had been received from local bodies in the State. Those ordering coir products in the Coir Kerala would be given a 20% subsidy, the Minister said.
A Coir Kerala pavilion was inaugurated by A.M. Ariff, MP.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the ninth edition of the expo is being organised largely on virtual platform with the Camelot Convention Centre at Pathirappally being the main venue of the event. It aims to explore and expand the international market for coir products from Kerala. Two-hundred virtual stalls have been arranged from across the country. Besides, seminars, debates, workshops and cultural programmes are planned.
The expo will end on February 21.