Coir Year 2010
National Year for Coir (2010) - Events and Programme
Kerala is the domicile of the Indian Coir Industry. The first recorded history of coconut in the country dates back to 3rd century BC. There are many references about the usage of coconut in Valmiki Ramayana and Marco Polo, the famous traveler who visited India in the 13th Century. It is saga that originated in Kerala with a history of more than 150 years. It is difficult to visualize a landscape of God's Own Country. It is difficult to visualize a landscape of God's Own Country without the towering majestic coconut tree. India's coconuts account for 90% of the world's coir needs.
The Coir industry in Kerala is the largest cottage industry providing livelihood to nearly three lakhs fifty thousand people directly and many more indirectly.
Magnitude of coir fibre and its allied products in the global and domestic market as per customer demand. No other crop has played such a significant role in shaping the life of the people from the cottage industry. The demand for coir is rapidly growing. An expanding market for coir based erosion control products and spread of coir pith as a peat moss substitute in horticulture has further pushed production in the industry.
The Government has laid emphasis on developing the potential of the industry. The programmes are aimed at increased utilization of coconut husk for production of coir fibre, growth of coir market with thrust on domestic market through branding techniques, strengthening of R&D facilities to find innovative uses for coir acquiring new technologies, encouragement to co-operativisation and providing social welfare, civic amenities and medical facilities to workers. Modernization is to be encouraged through incentives to make the coir industry more competitive.
Presently, Govenment of Kerala endorsed the view that Kerala coir industry stands on the threshold of an exciting future. The organized Coir manufacturing factory producing coir mats, mattings and other covering was started in Kerala 150 years back when the first factory was set up in Alleppey in 1859 by the Irish traveler, Mr. James Darrgh. The strategy further states new and improved products at competitive price should be developed especially in the areas of application where natural fibres have advantages over synthetics. Keeping its importance Government of Kerala declared 2010 as the Coir Year.
Coir Year shall showcase for the identification of the domestic market niche and strengthen the domestic market through active market promotion and diversified marketing strategies especially by adopting branding techniques. Focused attention is aimed for the identification of market oriented products through technological upgradation and diversification without displacing labour. Strategies shall also be adopted with a view to place this sector at the upper end of the value chain for both industrial and life style products.
Activities Envisaged During Coir Year
A. Initiated Schemes/Programmes
Introduction of Husk collection schemes
Shortage of Coir Fibre is a serious issue in Kerala. Though Kerala is the land of coconuts even 50% of the husks are not effectively utilised for making fibre. Lack of proper collection mechanism is one of the reason behind this. To sort out this issue Government introduced a "Husk Collection Scheme' in which collection of husks is envisaged through consortiums to be formed and through activity groups including Kudumbasree/SHGS etc. the incentives. Husk subsidy, Transportation subsidy, special package for the consortiums are provided under the scheme.
Revitalization and setting up of new defibering mills
Government issued guidelines for the release of fund for the revival of existing DF Mills and also to set up new ones. DF Mills in co-operative sector and alike will get 75% of the project cost subject to a maximum of Rs. 25 lakhs and 15 lakhs respectively for setting of DF and fore revival respectively. DF mills in the private sector will get a subsidy of 50% on its investments subject to a maximum of 10 lakhs.
Establishment of Coir Machinery Manufacturing factory at Alappuzha
Though Kerala especially Alappuzha is the hub of Coir Industry in the contry, there is no common set up for the manufacturing of machineries required for the coir sector. There is also handicap for maintenance/repair of available machineries. To sort out the matter, Government is decided to establish a coir machinery manufacturing factory at Alappuzha.
Technology Upgradation of Coir Industry
a. Setting up of a Composite Board factory by Foam Matting (India) Ltd at Alappuzha
Coir industry is considered as a traditional one and most of the products are also traditional in nature. no concerted efforts were taken to produce distinct products in the coir sector. As diversification is the need of the hour, it was decided to start of Coir Composite Board Factory by the PSU in the Coir Sector - Foam Matting (India) Ltd.
b. Setting up of a Blended Yarn factory by Kerala State Coir Corporation at Alappuzha
KSCC, another PSU in Kerala, decided to set up a blended yarn factory at Alappuzha as a innovation to their activities with ACCDS support.
c. Setting up of a PVC tufted unit by Coirfed at Alappuzha
Mass production by maintaining quality will boost the market share of any competitive product. PVC tufting is one of the process in which the above can be achieve. Coirfed, the apex society of the primary co-operative in the coir sector, in association with ACCDS with set up a PVC tufted unit at Alappuzha.
Establishment of Coir Marketing Consortium
To strengthen the marketing system it is proposed to establish a marketing consortium in the coir sector with the active involvement and utilising the resources of all stake holders including coir PSUs/Coirfed/Coir co-operatives, exporters/Pvt. Entrepreneurs in coir sector etc.
Debt Relief Schemes for coir workers/cooperative sector/entrepreneurs
Government introduced a scheme to provide one time assistance to give debt relief to Coir workers/co-operatives/entrepreneurs in the coir sector for the loans availed to set up coir industry. The government support is to clear the loan arrears subject to certain limits if the financial institutions waive the interest and penal interest.
Release of thrift/share of coir workers of cooperative sector
The coir co-operatives are collecting a portion of the wages of workers as thrift and this amount will be converted as share every year. Due to financial crisis the co-operatives are not in a position to release the amount even to workers even at the time of retirement. Government intends to provide amount for the purpose.
Establishment of old age home for coir workers
It is proposed to construct an old age home for the coir workers, with all facilities.
Welfare activities of coir workers
The government enhanced the pension of coir workers twice and the present pension is Rs. 250 per month. About 550000 coir workers will be benefited under the scheme. The scheme intends to provide the pension up to date.
Setting up of Coir pith briquetting/composting units
Integration of coir geotextiles development programme in development activities, NREGP etc.
B. Special schemes/programmes proposed for Coir Year
1. Brand Certification of Coir and Coir products
Government of Kerala is actively involved to crate a brand image for Kerala Coir through an extensive programme named "Brand Building of Kerala Coir" and is being implemented. This programme is evolved to initiate market oriented coir product development, branding of coir products, develop marketing and trading networks in the domestic as well as international market, improve the efficiency of supply chain mechanism etc. with an intention to create a niche in the international and domestic market segment for Kerala Coir.
|A logo named "Kerala Coir - The Golden Yarn of God's Own Country" certified by the Trade Marks Registry was launched to portray and symbolize the richness of the wonder fibre building a sense of confidence, promise of trust and consistency in quality. The branding campaign shall establish a brand value relationship, derives maximum commercial advantage for the product and the brand, represent the Kerala coir products in the customers mind, increase the selling power. The branding experience is expected to double the turnover of Kerala Coir products, both domestically and internationally thereby bringing more benefits to the workers and all stake holders in the industy.|
Brand Building of Kerala Coir necessitates quality assurance, standardization and dependability of coir products to the ultimate consumer. The vision of the Brand Certification scheme is to provide Quality Coir Products by evolving stringent quality standards and certification. The Kerala Coir logo will be a hallmark of quality certified by the Government of Kerala. All quality coir products manufactured in the state of Kerala will be eligible for carrying this mark.
Brand certification is largely based on ISO specification. As part of the brand certification programme grant authorization to firms/agencies/manufacturers for using Brand Logo provided these firms/agencies/manufactures succumb to quality regulations as prescribed both for process and product. Manufacturers of products made of Coir shall be allowed to use the logo, if they have adequate facilities or production, trained supervisors and trained work force. Firms/manufacturers shall be given authorization after obtaining conformity during the inspections at the manufacturer's premises and testing of samples, drawn both from the market and factory. Random inspection shall be carried out by authorized staff of NCRMI.
The certification allows the coir manufacture to use the brand logo which helps to provide quality products to consumers and thereby exploring the niches in domestic and international market. The Brand Certification Scheme is open to all coir product manufacturers in Kerala. Brand logo and certification can be granted for any coir products with Specifying Standard Product Characteristics, which is amenable to certification.
For the successful implementation of brand certification process, shall develop suitable infrastructure for the purpose. A certification office will be established in Alappuzha. The certification procedure will be streamlined as the mode of ISO certification. Training programme shall be conducted to develop Quality Inspectors to carry out Inspection and Certification of the quality of Coir and coir products.
The training programme shall be given in the following areas;
|(i)||Training on Quality Inspection and Certification of Coir fibre and yam
|(ii)||Training on Quality Inspection and Certification of Coir Mats|
|(iii)||Training on Quality Inspection and Certification of Coir Mattings & Mourzouk Carpets|
|(iv)||Training on Quality Inspection and Certification of Non-woven coir products|
|(v)||Training on the details regarding packaging|
||Training on quality certification procedures|
Marketing Strategies & Propaganda
The modern management is customer oriented and highly competitive. The main focus of the brand programme is to encourage the demand of coir products. The key objective for the initiation of a marketing strategy would be to increase the size of the market (domestic and international) largely through market development and promotional activities. The components of marketing strategies includes market intelligence, market segmentation, identification of 9.lbstitutes to competing products, product development strategy, market expansion and promotional activities in the domestic as well as international arena.
The marketing strategy enables many competitive edges for the firms using the brand name like increased sales, repeat purchases, customer retention during adversity, higher prices, greater message receptivity and increased new product acceptance. The panacea for the success of the branding operation is the constant up-keepment of the quality standard. To successfully impinge the minds of the consumers, a brand ambassador can playa very vital role. Organizing of BU)er-Seller meets, Expo's etc. can portrait the miracle of this wonder fibre and its myriad of product availability. For effective branding campaign, popular communication media's like print, audio, visual etc. shall be explore to the fullest along with website development, road shows, other advertisement tools etc.
Coir Development Dept. in association with NCRMI organized the statewide Onam sales propaganda from 15th Aug. to 15th Sept., 2009 to augment the Sales drive of the Coir products. The Dept. has already devised strategies and tactics for marketing & advertising plans through mass media for tapping and boosting the festival sales effectively. Dept had arranged the advertisement in the visual, audio and print media for conveying the message of"Oru Veettil Oru Kayar Ulpannam". The marketing techniques have doubled the sales of the Coir PSU's and COIRFED during the onam season.
India's export of coir and coir products to major countries (Rs in lakhs)
|Percentage of increase
in 08- 09 over 07-08
|Canada||1,965.94||2.049.71||2,047.37||(- ) 0.11|
Though in overall, there is an upward trend in the export market of coir, few countries shows a consistent decline in the procurement of coir products from India. This issue need to be addressed with urgency. The domestic market potential of coir products is declining due to ineffective marketing techniques adopted. The branding exercise of coir products demands for an efficient work force. The work force needs to be fully acquainted with the new product planning, products description, customer satisfaction, pricing techniques, advertising, marketing strategies etc. The successfully implementation of branding programme necessitates launching of new and attractive coir based products into the market with the brand logo tagging. NCRMI has developed coir based products like coir pith as filler in rubber footwear, fancy bag, rugs, table mat, floor covering etc. made of blended yam. These products have received huge appreciation from the consumers during test marketing. They needs to popularized on a commercial basis.
The marketing strategies and propaganda for implementation during the Coir Year are described hereunder;
|1||The segregation of coir products into two categories, viz. labour intensive technology and heritage products|
|2||To formulate the strategies needed for branding of Kerala Coir|
|3||Formulate the media mix and communication strategy|
|4||Appoint Brand Ambassador/Ambassador's for Umbrella Branding Process|
|5||Conduct National level Coir Expo as well as International Coir Expo|
|6||Organize Buyer- Seller Meet along with an Interior Designers Meet at Major metros across the country|
|7||Developing a Website projecting the USP's of coir & its products capable to enter into the minds of customers|
|8||Organizing and participating in Workshops/Seminars/Training program to GOVt. Dept./LSGD/Central GOVt. agencies/ institute/ research institute etc.|
|9||Organizing road shows, media campaign, developing short films & website etc.|
|10||Advertisement in the visual, audio and print media for conveying the message of "Om Veettil Om Kayar Ulpannam" to ensure a coir product in every house by the end of the year.|
|11||An awareness creation programme on technical details of the coir & its products to showroom staff of coir PSU's & COIRFED, staff of coir mats & mattings, coir co-operative outlets, staff of the retail outlet staff shall be conducted. The awareness creation programme should include topics on customer relations.|
|12||Identification of commercially viable research products developed by NCRMI and other agencies and commercialization of the same with private public participation.|
Developing Handicrafts and Heritage products
Coir and fibre based handicrafts and jewels are produced as an art or craft manually by hands, with care, taste and skill by experienced workers. The prime feature in handcrafts is the art and elegance in the products in low expense. By skillful combinations and placement of natural fibre, coloured fibre, co loured coir, coconut shell and husks, using adhesive and twain, large variety of artistic fancy and attractive articles can be made. Such articles include jewels made by fine coconut fibre, show piece of elephants, horse, dear, camel, peacock, butterfly, fish, flowers, flower trees, pen holder, table basket, lamp shade, bangle stand, flower vase, bags, hats, hanger etc. can also be made by hand.
Attractive geometrical and other patterns can be made by sticking together coloured coir within suitable frames to hang on walls. Coir may also be wound in different shapes to make frames for quartz clocks, designer table lamps etc. All the above products made with elegance and excellence will attract fields of tourism, internal decoration to homes and hotels and for gift presentation.
Despite this facts, the number of craftsmen who are highly skilled and exclusively engaged in this filed are very low. Hence the immediate need is to give more popularity to the handicrafts and to multiply the number of skilled workmen so as to enhance the job opportunities. A design and development along with a training on handicrafts and jewels for the handicrafts and heritage products is essential
Coir Geotextiles Programmes
Coir Geotextiles, an ultimate am innovative product from golden fibre, saves mother earth from soil erosion. Coir Geotextiles protects land surface and promote quick vegetation. Soil bio - engineering practices with Coir Geotextiles make ecological sense; they promote the use of natural native materials, and improve with age. For these simple reasons soil bio-engineering practices with Coir Geotextiles will become a preferred technique for engineers, landscape architects, consultants and the government agencies who seek long-term environmental solutions to the problems caused by erosion.
Coir Geotextiles industry is still in its infancy state. 98% of the global requirements of Geotextiles are catered by the synthetics counterparts. Making use of the biodegradability nature and eco- friendliness of coir geotextiles, if we can fetch a major share of the erosion control market, the Indian Coir Industry will get a new life. For this we need appropriate technology advantage and concentrated marketing efforts. The COlr spmnmg workers can make the required geotextiles without much drudgery and investment, making use of the simple 100m. To boost up the demand in the national and international market, we have to treat coir geotextiles as a technical material, rather than adopting the conventional product marketing technique.
Though, information exchange on Coir Geotextiles is improving in the national and international level, more information needs to be disseminated to the end users.
If coir geotextiles are used for erosion control purpose alone in projects executed by various Central/state Govt. agencies, the requirement of Coir Geotextiles will be millions of square meters every year. However both the Central/State Govt. agencies concerned are in one way or other reluctant to use the material in a large scale. Pilot trials using Coir Geotextiles have to be conducted on larger scale across the country especially in the north-eastern states of India. Moreover, the other proven applications of Coir Geotextiles like road construction, embankment protection, drainage, slope stabilization etc. shall also be demonstrated in larger scale.
The activities to be carried out using Coir Geotextiles during the National Coir Year at the national level are as follows;
i) Systematic and technically supported field trials III association with major Central/State Govt. agencies and their R&D wings.
ii) Wide spread fields trials covering the climatic variations, soil conditions and location of the area especially in the north-eastern states, so as to get all possible climatic and soil conditions prevailing in the country.
iii) Dissemination of the expertise, experience and know how to the decision making level of concerned agencies like Engineers of LSGD (State, District, Block level), Central & State PWD's, Central & State Surface Transport Dept., Indian Railways, Border Roads Organization Nationally reputed Research/Education Institutions etc. by conducting training programmes, seminars, conferences etc.
iv) Wide spread advertisement through visual media am articles in newspaper comparing the cost effectiveness and eca- friendliness on the use of native products and make the general public aware about the new technology.
v) Participating in national level seminars/conferences and display the products. Participate in technical paper presentation.
The major products that find export in this regard are; coir mesh mattings, cocologs and coco beds. It is not the specification but the cost aspect with respect to neighbouring coir producing countries, that which hinders our export. However the new entrants in this market need actual field trials and technical data for accepting our material. The major players in the international market for marketing Coir Geotextiles are one from Germany, one from Sri Lanka and one from Sweden. They have developed their own standards for these materials. To penetrate into this market of highly technical nature, we have also to develop our standards and correlate them with international standards.
The activities to be carried out using Coir Geotextiles during the National Coir Year at the international level are as follows;
i) Development of Indian standards in line with that of American, British, German and Netherland standards.
ii) Wide publicity in the international technical community on the fields trials conducted in India and elsewhere in the world.
iii) Conducting field trials in foreign countries in association with the R&D departments there and also International Technical Bodies like, International Geosynthetic Society, International Erosion Control Association etc.
iv) Participating in international seminars/conferences of the above agencies and display the products. If possible participate in technical paper presentation.
v) . Developing CD's/Brochures for circulation in these avenues.
Research and Development of Improved Machineries for Coir Sector
Research and development activities are not been done effectively in coir industry to introduce new and improved machines with high productivity. Hence there is an urgent intervention required to intensify the R&D and re-engineering activities to produce quality fibre, yam and coir products.
Level of mechanization in coir industry is a major challenge and only 8% of the units have high mechanization and 23% of them adopted medium level of mechanization. An overwhelming 69% of the units are operating with low end technology.
Development ofa Standard Defibering Machine
Coir sector of Kerala faces acute shortage of coconut fib re and depends the neighbouring States like Tamil nadu and Andra pradesh. One of the main reasons for this is the inadequate mechanization in defibering prevailing over the state. The states like Tamil nadu and Andra pradesh are quite well ahead in the field of mechanized defibering so that they can provide the huge quantity of fibre at lower price to their neibouring states after meeting their internal demand. The method of fibre production has not undergone any significant change over the years. In Kerala progress in the development of Defibering Machine has been very tardy. R&D efforts in Defibering Machine development have not been receiving the attention that it deserves.
Defibering machines have been used in Kerala are not professionally designed by the competent persons. Consequently there is no standardization in their components. There are wide variations from unit to unit in many important aspects.. Each unit had been indigenously fabricated and erected by local blacksmiths or local workshops. Tre components are often selected by a trial and error method. There is, therefore, substantial scope for reducing the cost of fabrication, erection, maintenance and repair of these machines if they are built to a standardized pattern.
Standardization of Defibering machine through R&D work is in dispensable for the better fibre quality, operational efficiency, and easy replacement of the worn out parts and cost reduction. Standardization through proper material selection and method of tooling ensures guaranteed performance and reduced drudgery that attract the female wokers in this sector. Design, fabrication and usage of proper machines and accessories could help in optimizing the available husk and raw materials. Therefore proper R&D on machinery and technology up gradation on the same would help them contribute to the proper structuring of the industry.
The New Standard Defibering Machine shall be
- Cost effective
- Higher productivity
- Increased fibre quality
- Acceptable to the industrial community
- Provides hygienic working atmosphere
Total Financial layout envisaged for the project is Rs.50 lakhs and period of completion will be one year.
Development of a Multi-head Automatic Coir Spinning Machine
The major area in which all the innovations or technological refinement has not made any tangible result is the spinning of coir yam Spinning of coir yam is mainly a cottage industry. About 75%of the yam is produced by farmers who purchase retted husks from nearby centres; a few undertake retting or soaking operations themselves. Coir yam is also produced by a few large scale producers. Coir, the traditional industry of Kerala uses the conventional ratt for the spinning of coir yam depending up on the localities from where the retted coir husk is coming. The different varieties of coir yams generally produced in Kerala are anjengo, aratory, vaikom, mangadan etc. The bulk of coir yam i.e. 90% is produced by wheel spinning using conventional ratts. Coir yam is produced also by hand spinning in Malabar.
Mechanization of the conventional ratts has led to the production of almost one variety of Coir. However, conventional ratt motorized with Y4 HP motor has been successful in producing the different varieties of coir as mentioned above. The ultimate mechanization has not been achieved in terms of productivity. Mechanization in this section has lead to development of different types spinning machines including the Automatic Spinning Machine, but none of them has been successful in meeting the end dema nd of the industry, owing to various defects associated with the machine, lack of expertise as well as due to the nature of fibre available. The developments in spinning have not taken care of the different varieties of coir yam available in the state.
The major constraint affecting productivity and quality is now with outdated and inefficient traditional spinning methods, while these produce certain products where "clubbed" or irregular yam is acceptable, product diversification and full penetration of world market will not be achieved without much improved spinning technology. In order to attain and hold a competitive· position in world markets, it is imperative that an appropriate spinning technology is to be investigated and developed.
A new prototype spinning machine which can produce all varieties of coir yams available in Kerala has to be developed incorporating all the advantages of existing machines. If a suitable versatile spinning machine can be developed which can produce loose twist yam with less hairiness, it is without doubt that it can produce hard twist yam with minimum hairiness. The machine to be developed has to be economically viable to the household use of women and it should reduce the drudgery involved in the conventional spinning. It is understood that one should have long years of experience and expertise to develop the design drawings for the new prototype spinning machine that can produce all variety of coir yam available in Kerala, fabrication of new spinning machine, trial run of new machine rectifying the defects to arrive at the best suited machine for the Kerala conditions.
In the view of above NCRMI already initiated the development of new double headed automatic spinning machine which can produce at least five popular varieties of coir yam and with high runnage, less hairiness, uniformly twisted. The New Spinning Machine conceived as four separate following sub systems
a. Fibre feeding section
b. Ply twisting section
c. Yam twisting section
d. Spooling section
Upon the designing of the four subsystems the prototype production will be commenced. Further to this investigation we are planning to develop the multiheaded spinning machine adaptable to the medium scale industries. Total Financial layout envisaged for the project is RS.50 lakhs and period of completion will be one year.
Development of an Automatic Loom
Coir Mats and matting are made on traditional wooden handlooms. Semi automatic and fully automatic looms (Power looms) are also used in the production of mattings. Handlooms used are similar to textile (hand 100ms).Coir mattings are manufactured from coir yam. The yam is wound on bobbins and transferred to a creel. Warping is done between sticks or by means of a peg board, the yam from the bobbins being passed on to the warping drum and the requisite width prepared by warping the sections on a weaver drum. Patterns up to eight treadles are usually woven on ordinary looms, for designs requiring more than eight treadles, jacquard machines are employed.
Fabrics made by weaving are by the process of interlacement of two kinds of threads known as warp and weft. The warp threads are kept in the loom in a parallel sheet form and the weft threads pass in between the warp layers form interlacement in certain order according to the type of fabric to the woven. To achieve the above, the warp threads have to divided and raised to the required order to pass a weft in between the warp strands. This process is called shedding. The space between the two layers of warp when divided is called shed. Shedding is the process of generation of layers between the warp yams. It is achieved through the threadling operation. Each treadles are connected to headless by means of a link mechanism. When the operator applies sufficient foot pressure on the treadle, then the corresponding headles comes downwards and a shed is generated between the layers.
The inserted pick in the shed has to be brought nearest to the last pick already inserted in the fabric (near to the fell of the cloth). This process is known as Beating. This is carried out by using slay. Slay Beating is the toughest element of operation in the weaving cycle of any coir product. The rough and bulky warp yam offers a lot of resistance while moving the slay through the individual warp yam strings that pass through the opening provided in the slay. A lot of force is required to be exerted by weaver to over come this resistance and to provide quality weft packing. Improper Slay beating will also result in loosens in the mat thereby increasing rejection rate. An improvement brought in this area to reduce the effort required on the part of the weaver to perform Beating Operation would greatly reduce drudgery involved in performing this operation and improve the quality of weaving as well.
In coir sector, majority of the weavers end up with knee problems or chest diseases in their older ages owing to the drudgery. Even though semi-automatic or fully automatic looms are introduced in the industry, majority of the small- scale prodocers depends conventional handlooms.
The present looms are of non-standard in nature, made of wood. Their design is completely unscientific involving a lot of friction in rotating and oscillating components and with slackness in joints. These looms are also found to be deteriorating over a period of time as they are made of wood. They are bulky, occupy a lot of space and operate with very low levels of productivity. Their ergonomics design is also not in order. Weavers with tremendous effort perform weaving operations. They are less expensive either.
Coir weaving using handloom is a very tiring and tedious process due to the inherent characteristics of Coir Yam such as bulkiness and roughness of the yam. Due to unscientific design of the present wooden 10 oks the weaving operation become very difficult to perform. These looms are made of wood in non-standard sizes and call for very high space requirements. The set up time is very high and the ergonomics considerations of the weaver are never taken care. A tremendous amount of energy is spent by the weaver while performing the weaving operation using these looms. They demand very high levels of skill requirement from the weavers. At present as an alternative to these handlooms, there are Automatic and Semi Automatic looms available in the field. However, their costs are prohibitively high and completely out of reach for the Common Coir Weaver.
In such a situation, there is an urgent need to develop a low cost, automated loom, well within the reach of the Conrnon Weaver. Development of such a loom will remove overall drudgery of operation of the weaver, increased his earnings and improves the quality of the products. Development and introduction of such a loom will change the overall scenario of the Coir weaving industry by improving productivity multifold and will change the lives of Coir weavers who are working in a very poor working conditions, with very low levels of productivity and with poor earnings.
The New Automatic loom shall be
- Cost effective
- Higher productivity
- Increased product quality
- Acceptable to the industrial community
Total Financial layout envisaged for the project is RS.75 lakhs and period of completion will be one year.
The state of Kerala is the major player in coir across the world and the Coir industry in the state have a history of 150 years. Coir industry has played such a significant role in shaping the life of the people of the state which accounts for 3,50,000 workers. The major activities involved in the sector include;
1. Husk collection
2. Fibre production
3. Yam spinning
4. Products manufacturing
Presently, the potential of coir fibre and its allied products in the global and domestic market is showing decent progress. But, the present condition of the COlr industry in the state is concernmg. The husk collection mechanism, fibre & yam production sector and the products manufacturing sector in the state are facing crisis contributing to displacement of labour. Different rejuvenation strategies were tried to abate the crisis in the sector and was unsuccessful to yield the desired result. One of the primary reasons is the un-availability of reliable data on the functioning of the coir industry. To successfully implement the rejuvenation strategy, data collection on the coir industry and preparation of reliable statistics is immediate necessity.
The data collection shall be carried out in the following manner;
|1||Data collection on the un-organized coir sector shall be carried out by the respective Project Office (Coir) in association with the Coir Irnpectors. The assistance for data collection on organized coir sector shall be availed from Govt. approved agencies.|
|2||A data network system shall be developed between the private coir entrepreneurs both in the organized and un-organized sector in the different areas and respective Coir Project Office (Coir) in such a way that details shall be available at Directorate of Coir Development before 10th of every month.|
|3||The Coir Dept. shall tie -up with check post authorities to accumulate the data relating to transport of Coir & its products to and from Kerala to other states. It shall be ongoing process and check post authorities shall supply the data to Coir Dept. The Export statistics of coir products shall be ava iled from Coir Board and shall be requested to provide the data during the first week of every month.|
|4||NCRMI shall carry out the compilation of the data received and prepare the statistical report. NCRMI shall develop a separate hub for the data documentatX:m and compilation. The infrastructure like building, manpower etc. shall be developed by NCRMI|
Gratuity for the un-organized sector
Coir industry is the largest source of non-farm employment in Kerala. It is a traditional Cottage industry and generates large scale employment to women folk especially in coastal belt of Kerala. It employs about 3.6 lakhs workers. More than 15% of the people living in coastal areas of Kerala depend on the coir industry for their livelihood.
Development of any sector would primarily focus on the improvement in the quality of workers life. As far as the coconut fiber industry is concerned, it is not different. During the extensive study undertaken by the institute, not many major steps have been taken for the development of the quality of life of the workers of the coconut sector. The workers of the primary sector are all for improvements in the above area, which would, bring in more people and would help the sector, thrive even in difficult periods.
The workers of the sector mainly women folks are below poverty line and earns only meager wages. The work involved in the coir industry involves huge drudgery and after their prolong efforts in the sector they earn only few benefits after the ir retirement. Most of the benefits available are incapable to ensure lump-sum amount to workers after their life long service in the industry. The pension contributions extended to the coir workers even now is nominal. For the up -liftment of the life of the workers, a gratuity scheme may be introduced with 50 percent from the worker and 50 percent contribution by the govt. This gratuity amount shall be remitted by the govt. and worker on yearly basis enabling the workers to get a lump- sum amount after their retirement.
Health scheme for the workers
The different process in traditional coir industry involves huge drudgery and the workers are exposed unhygienic working condition. It is clearly evident that the environmental related issues, health hazards and drudgery are the major concerns of the sector. Even though various regimes have taken various steps to control and help the workers in the work related medical issues, nothing much has been observed or felt while interacting and undertaking field visits in coconut fiber sector geographies.
In the retting sector, mosquito problem from retting yards has led to a high level of philariasis in neighboring areas. Besides this the foul smell of hydrogen sulphide from the retting zone makes the surrounding atmosphere unhygienic resulting in health hazards. The working condition in spinning, defibering, products etc. are also unhealthy and dusty. These concerns and the possible hazards along with some other factors have prevented traditional people and the next generation to come into the industry. Activities like proper awareness campaign on the health related maters of the workers, introduction of safety devices viz. mask, gloves etc. shall be adopted in the sector. The environment related subjects should be addressed for the proper up-liftment of the sector. Addressing these issues would indeed catalyze the development of the sector in large way.
International Coir Exhibitions & Trade Fair
Coir, one of the most versatile materials man has ever extracted from Mother Nature, has traveled a long way since its humble beginnings as the ubiquitous tying rope. Coir, today, in its multifold manifestations touches every facet of man's life and activity - from door mats to rugs, rubberized coir mattress, decorative rugs, tufted carpets and from geo- textiles and garden articles to wood substitutes. Through the centuries Indian coir has carved a niche for itself and created a genre of its own, thanks to the superiority of its quality and the excellent craftsmanship that endeared it to markets around the world. Indian coir originally denoted Kerala Coir, unique for its rich, gold colour and texture which never really had any competition in the international market.
Over the years coir faced stiff competition and lobbying from synthetic as well as other natural fibres like sisal, jute, flax etc. More recently, globalization and the lifting of quantitative restrictions have bought in a fresh wave of competition - this time from rival countries and rival products. Besides these facts, Coir fibre and its products in the global and domestic market is showing significant progress and is bound to maintain upward trend provided the industry could meet the quality of product supply from time to time in the global and domestic market as per customer demand.
It is high time to formulate a strategy with vision and objectivity so as to make the coir industry beget benefit through organizing exhibition, trade fair and buyer -seller meet. It is in this context, it is proposed to organize the International exhibitions & Trade fair at Allapuzha to showcase the capabilities of Indian coir to the world. The exhibitions shall communicate the status of coir as an eco- freindly, ethnic and versatile product it employs almost totally environment friendly technology thereby providing leverage and convert the green movement into commerce. Along-with a buyer - seller meet and seminar also conducted shall pave the way for new avenues for mutual understanding and co-operation between coir producing countries so that the ideas can be exchanged and duplication of research work can be avoided. It would provide valuable information on the status of the coir industry in India and also its state in countries like Sri lanka, Philipinnes, Indonesia etc.
The exhibitions and trade fair has been timed in response to the general consensus that the industry should get more exposure in the changing environment, to project the transition of the coir sector from a traditional to a global economic player. Old systems have been dismantled, production systems have been re-oriented, trading mechanisms have changed, successful forays have been made into non-conventional areas and there has been a re-writing of inter-relationships between producers, exporters and consumers. The age-old system where a handful of manufacturers and exporters joined hands to decide prices is fast changing and building new equations.
The fair is expected to set in motion a resurgence of the Indian coir industry. This is vital as the Indian coir industry has great relevance in both the domestic as well international scenario, in terms of its applications, foreign exchange potential and the employment opportunities it generates. Indian coir has ruled the ley global markets for years, notwithstanding its inherent problems. It is now awaiting a new high in fortunes, even as it shapes up to face the challenges of globalization. The International Exhibitions and Coir trade fair will help gives a new pep to the Indian coir industry.
Ultimately the fair shall provide a realistic picture of their problems and this shall reinforce the thinking about the newer ways and means of making coir industry competitive through economies of scale and competitiveness through costing of pricing, finding new and newer markets, and tapping the potential of the vast domestic market need to be prioritized if the coir industry have to make a dent in the Indian industrial landscape.