Kochi, Apr 3: The Coir Board will conduct a study on the state of affairs of the small scale coir product manufacturing sector in Cherthala and Ambalapuzha in Kerala's Alappuzha District.
The study will be carried out by a well-experienced reputed agency and completed within 45 days. The study will include surveying the existing functioning of the units, fund flow requirements, marketing linkages, and the workers' welfare and the working environment.
The small-scale product-manufacturing sector is the backbone of the traditional coir sector of the Kerala, especially in the Ambalapuzha and Cherthala. "The existing schemes available with the board will be modified based on the study so as to protect the interest of the small scale producers. The study will also focus on the impact of the new scheme initiated by the board for the benefit of the sector," said A C Jose, Chairman, Coir Board. During the last two years, the sector is facing problems of old, outdated and unproductive machinery, working environment, lack of orders, primary fund flow and realization of fair prices.
Due to paucity of work, there has been reports that the workers engaged in the small scale product manufacturing sector have been migrating to other greener pastures as the sector was unable to provide regular employment and decent wages. The Board has been conducting various programs for the upliftment of the sector by modernizing it under a new scheme namely the rejuvenation, modernization and technology upgradation of coir industry with a total plan outlay of Rs.243 crores. The scheme envisages rejuvenating the existing units engaged in the production of intermediaries for value added export oriented product manufacturing units by extending 40 per cent Government grant on the total unit outlay of Rs. five lakhs provided by the financial institutions. The Board had taken the initiative by providing grant to 190 spinning units and 160 tiny or household units in Kerala for the year 2007-08 with a total outlay of Rs.11.8 crores. The scheme is to provide assistance for upgrading the infrastructural facilities of these units to enhancing their productivity and the profitability of the units for earning better wages structure for the workers engaged in this sector.