Monday, Dec 29, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
Officials from the Coir Board told The Hindu here that nearly 60.31 acres of land was being utilised by the industry in the district and nearly 872 units consumed about 17,710 tonnes of husk and 20,271.44 tonnes of fibre annually. Of the 872 units, 32 were registered under the small scale industries (SSI) sector, eight with the Coir Board, 54 under proprietorship, one under partnership, two under the cooperative sector and the remaining were functioning as household trades.
Claiming that there was a tremendous scope for establishing household units in the district, the Coir Board Chairman, C. Chandran, said the district produced a total of 100.60 tonnes of yarn annually and more than men, women contributed to the major workforce. Of the 8,512 persons engaged in the industry, 5,899 were women. The coir industry was pastoral in nature and generated employment to the uneducated unemployed in the rural areas. The industry prevents migration of the uneducated unemployed in search of greener pastures and offers scope to take up the trade individually at home. Women could attend to their household chores and put to good use the leisure time available in spinning fibre or defibring or making mats/ropes with coconut husk, major raw material, which is available in plenty in Kanyakumari district, where coconut is the second major plantation crop next to rubber.
The district contributes nearly 28.4 per cent of the total coir rope production in the State and is the first in the production of mats (98 per cent). The district accounts for 61.5 per cent of matting produced in the State and qualitatively, the fibre produced in the district is rated as among the best. Nagercoil, Agasteeswaram, Kalkulam and Vilavancode are the potential areas of the industry.
The Coir Board has decided to facilitate provision of financial assistance to entrepreneurs to start new units in non-traditional areas. It has identified key areas of development: production of value-added products like mats, matting, carpet, new units for manufacturing coir ply (wood substitute), coir components for manufacturing packing material, modernisation of machinery and equipment for extracting fibre, setting up of a common facility centre for wet processing and finishing operations, and coir pith processing units. The credit flow into the district for the next two years has been projected as Rs. 16.78 crores.
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