Govt announces financial package to ramp up coir usage; signs MoU with IIT Madras

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May 7, 2020 6:18 PM

Credit and Finance for MSMEs: MSME Ministry on Thursday announced an MoU between the Coir Board and IIT Madras for setting up a Centre of Excellence to boost the use of coir “exclusively or in combination with other natural fibres".

The share of coir geotextiles in India’s domestic geotextile market of Rs 1,200 crore is below 40 per cent.

Credit and Finance for MSMEs: MSME Ministry on Thursday announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Coir Board and IIT Madras for setting up a Centre of Excellence to boost the use of coir “exclusively or in combination with other natural fibres,” it said in a statement. The institute had validated the research studies conducted by the Coir Board and other agencies on Coir Geo-Textiles (CGT) and recommended that CGT can be used to prevent soil erosion in slopes/embankments, river embankments, mine slope dumps stabilization etc. CGT are permeable natural fibres made from Coconut husk and is used in road construction, for checking soil erosion, riverbank protection etc.

MSME Ministry said that the Coir Board will also provide Rs 5 crores in financial assistance initially for two years for setting up and operating the Centre of Excellence, the ministry said. The centre of Excellence (CoE) will also aid the development of relevant technology and improve production and processing standards through specific projects and monitor research projects, the ministry said. The centre will also support in the creation of the intellectual property rights and technology transfer.

Also read: Need govt push for MSMEs to benefit if India capitalizes on exodus of factories from China, says SBI

So far, the board has identified 27 areas of research and development for the needs of the Coir industry to be led by the Centre of Excellence. There are additional 10 in-house projects of IIT Madras in machinery development and road projects. The share of coir geotextiles in India’s domestic geotextile market of Rs 1,200 crore is below 40 per cent. India’s exports coir and coir products export during FY20 was reportedly worth Rs 2,272 crore while Kerala accounts for around 80-90 per cent of the exports.

Meanwhile, the government had recently announced plans to set-up an import substitution policy to ‘replace foreign imports’ and boost domestic manufacturing in the wake of the current economic scenario due to Covid-19. MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari in a webinar on Tuesday had said that there is a need to focus on import substitution to replace foreign imports with domestic production.

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