Coir trade, industry
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2017: healthy demand
“Being a rural industry, an assured power supply is not available”
There has been a growing demand for coir fibre in allied industries such as sofa-set manufacturing industry across the State. The scope for export-based coir fibre has also been on the rise.
The coir fibre industries are located in parts of villages bordering Nagapattinam and Thanjavur districts with villages such as Peravurani, Thambikottai Melakadu, Parakkalakottai, Muthupettai and Jambuvanodai besides Pattukottai accounting for a large number of coconut groves.
Most of the industrialists involved in making coir fibre look at it as an additional source of income. “The coir fibre should be dried in the sunlight for a week or 10 days during summer. So, the industry goes off the stream during monsoon,” says V. Vembaiyan, an industrialist at Thambikottai Melakadu.
Being a rural industry, an assured power supply is not available for these units, he says. “Once the power goes off, it takes at least one or two hours for restoration. We have to incur expenditure on wages for labourers,” says Koteeswararn, another industrialist.
Under favourable conditions, a unit can produce 3,500 kg of coir fibre a day. “But due to erratic power supply, the production is just 15,000 kg a month,” laments Mr. Vembaiyan. The traders said that the product was directly sent to Pollachi for export.
Acute scarcity of labourers has hit the industry. “We incur anywhere around Rs. one lakh towards wages but the labourers are few and far between,” they said.
The trade involves health hazard like respiratory problem, one of the main reasons for labourers not volunteering for the work. The industrialists have to ensure a cordial relationship with the labourers. “We have a team of committed labourers who take the responsibility of ensuring quality,” the industrialists said.