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'Huge potential for Kerala coir products'

Kerala,Business/Economy, Sat, 02 Feb 2013 IANS

Alappuzha (Kerala), Feb 2 (IANS) New coir products have huge potential, experts said Saturday and asked the Kerala government to provide subsidies to drive the industry's resurgence.

"There is no shortage of coir fibre. But there is an imperative need for the government to...subsidise the new coir products to make them affordable and competitively priced for the consumers," said P.A. Peethambaran, former dean (research), Kerala Agricultural University.

Peethambaran was taking part in a seminar at Coir Kerala 2013, an international event that aims to drive the resurgence of the state's most important traditional industry, which opened here Friday.

"The launch of a new coir product is likely to create scepticism among the consumers. If the government starts using coir products, it will create confidence among the public and remove their scepticism," he pointed out.

Rajesh D. Anandjiwala, a researcher from South Africa said composite materials reinforced with natural fibres, such as flax, hemp, kenaf and jute are witnessing a considerable growth in applications, particularly in automotive, aerospace, shipping, consumer electronics and packaging.

"The market for natural fibre reinforced composites, including wood fibres, is increasing at a rate of about 10-15 per cent per annum in value and the market is projected to reach $3.8 billion in 2015 from its 2010 level of $2.2 billion," said Anandjiwala.

Jose Cyriac, chief secretary to Kerala government said, coir is on the path to rejuvenation because of modernisation and upgradation of technology.

"The coir industry is witnessing value addition because of modernisation and mechanisation. The key to its growth lies in increasing productivity through modernisation," said Cyriac.

The six-day Coir Kerala 2013 is being attended by over 150 delegates from 60 countries and would end Feb 6.

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