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Technical Updates On Coir And Coir-Based Products Research And Development In India

The Coir Board, an autonomous organization under Ministry of MSME, Govt. of India has established two research centers in the country namely, Central Coir Research Institute (CCRI) at Alappuzha and Central Institute of Coir Technology (CICT) at Bengaluru in the year 1959 and 1978 respectively. These research institutes have developed recently a number of technologies which will go a long way in the modernization of coir industry and empowering the women folks engaged in the industry for their livelihood to the extent of 80%. First of all, to mitigate the acute crisis of coir fibres in the country CCRI has come out with a mobile coir fibre extraction machine which is able to extract about 600 husks per hour by a single woman worker. Further, to make effective use of tender coconut husks, five equipments have been designed and fabricated so that the husks could be either cut into pieces or pulverized. The cut husks have got niche in the horticultural market due to their sponge like structure and physical stability which is much better than wood bark and sphagnum peat moss. The pulverized husk has been successfully converted into compost by the use of an edible mushroom spawn, which is useful as 100 % organic manure. The tender husks (6 months old) with fibres find use in producing fine quality of fibres which could be easily blended with other soft fibres like jute, banana and sisal etc to produce various diversified items like shopping bags, thin mats, curtains etc. There is a wide scope to develop and market unique products out of coir fibres by blending with other allied fibres and manufacturing union fabrics in combination with such fibres. To add to the eco- friendliness of coir fibres, the CCRI has embarked on dyeing of coir with natural dyeing. A few of these technologies have been already licensed to the NRDC (National Research Development Corporation, Dept. of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India) for transfer in the country and abroad. This paper describes in details the technologies which have been developed for the benefit of coir industry. 

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