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A Tough Nut To Crack - Accelerating Innovation In The International Coir Fibre Sector

Even though "green" products have caught the imagination of industries and the general public the reality is that for decades, the Jute, Abaca, Coir, Kenaf and Sisal (JACKS) Fibers, which are renewable materials, have lost market share or have been stuck in the low value added spectrum of products. Lack of innovation and investments in Research and Development could be one of the reasons.

The forecasted increase in the world population to some 9 billion people by the year 2050 combined with lifestyle changes in the emerging economies and developing countries will increase demand for (agricultural) materials, food and fuel in the coming decades. There are many new opportunities emerging in the increasingly inter-connected, globalized and complex world, with its efforts to move towards Green Economies and Sustainability. Unless there are concerted international efforts by the JACKS Fiber sector, including Fibers such as coir, the beneFits to the Fiber producing countries could remain sub-optimal.

In this paper a brief overall view is presented on JACKS fibers in general. This is because the global issues and challenges of the hard Fibers (Abaca, Coir and Sisal), Jute and Kenaf fiber are very similar but with some national peculiarities. The proposition is for international cooperation, also in pre-competitive R&D activities, in the JACKS Fiber sectors

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