The northeast has great potential in the production of a variety of coir products. Recently, a coir expo was held in Guwahati with an aim to encourage budding entrepreneurs.
In the North-East Coir Expo 2013, the latest range of products and machinery were displayed in an attempt to attract the local youth towards this lucrative business.
The expo was organised by the Coir Board and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India.
"People of Assam do not know the value of coir fibre and where all it can be used. Coir mats are purchased by them, but they do not know how to make them. This expo will help educate people about where all the coir fibre can be used, the product value, and the market forces affecting the cost of coir products in the market," said K P Ramesh, supervisor, Coir Board Research Institute of Kerala.
The Coir Board has earmarked Rs. 35 crore for promotion of coir business in the northeast during the Twelfth Plan. It will help entrepreneurs explore markets in Southeast Asian countries.
Apart from setting up plants, the youth can also open franchise outlets, and the board is offering 20 per cent commission on the products.
"The expo is profitable for us, as the demonstration helps us understand the process of manufacturing coir fiber. These expos are beneficial for our unemployed youth. It helps us. I just saw the handloom and how the fibre is made which is used in making various products," said Surya Kumar Bora, a visitor.
There is an urgent need in the region to provide the youth with employment and the expo, which promotes small and sustainable industries, will help in this regard. (ANI)