ALAPPUZHA: The state government will spend `1,000 crore for the development of the coir sector over the next five years, said Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac here on Thursday. The aim of the government is to widen the market for coir and coir products, the minister said at the organising committee formation meeting for Coir Kerala Exhibition, scheduled to be held in October, this year.
“As part of the government initiative to promote coir products, 100 coir stalls will be opened across the state during Onam season. The government will offer 50 per cent subsidy for the coir products sold through the Onam stalls. We are expecting to sell products worth `25 crore during the festival season. To encourage government employees to buy coir products, the government will offer coupons with a face value of `1,000. The amount can be repaid in instalments. There are also plans to start door delivery of coir products,” the minister said. To protect the traditional industry, the government is planning to reopen the famous Bombay Coir Company. The government will take over the land and property of the Aspinwall Company in Alappuzha, he said.
To revive the primary coir cooperatives, the government will provide a subsidy of `25 crore as working capital. As many as 150 automatic feeding spinning machines will be distributed to the cooperatives, said Thomas Isaac.
The government will establish 1,000 defibering units across the state to overcome the shortage of coir fibre in the state. These units will produce coir fibre from the coconut husk procured from the farmers, the minister said.
The Coir Kerala exhibition will be held at EMS stadium in Alappuzha from October 5 to 9. The exhibition will lay stress on widening the domestic market, he said.
District panchayat president G Venugopal, municipal chairman Thomas Joseph, Coir Development Director N Padmakumar, Coir Corporation chairman R Nazar, Kerala Coir Machine Manufacturing Company chairman P Prasad and Foam Mattings chairman K R Bhageerathan spoke.