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Coir products exports seen at Rs 1,500-cr

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SummaryThe country's coir products exports are likely to touch Rs 1,500-crore mark in the current fiscal.

The country's coir products exports are likely to touch Rs 1,500-crore mark in the current fiscal, on rising demand in western markets like the US and Europe.

In the last fiscal, coir items exports stood at about Rs 1,050 crore, according to the data provided by the Coir Board.

"We expect coir products exports to touch Rs 1,500-crore level in 2012-13 on account of growing demand in markets like USA, Europe, Latin America, Russia and Africa," Coir Board Chairman G Balachandran said at function here today.

The exporters are expecting good number of orders for their products in the second half of the financial year, he added.

During April-September, coir exports stood at over Rs 600 crore.

The US and Europe account for 72 per cent of the country's total coir exports.

Seeking to tap the growing demand for eco-friendly products, the board is giving thrust on exports of coir products through technological upgradation and value-addition.

A wide range of diversified products like coir wood, umbrellas, jackets, hats and jewellery are being produced with the usage of advanced technology and these items are being promoted with an eco-friendly image, Balachandran said.

Coir product making is an important cottage industry, contributing significantly to the economy of the major coconut growing states such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

The coir industry employs over 5 lakh people.

"The development of geotextiles, which helps to protect the soil and in turn the environment by acting against soil erosion, is one of the best examples of coir usage in the recent times when the focus is on protecting the environment," Indian Road Congress Secretary General V S Prasad said.

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