Industry, Labour and Employment

Traditional Industries


Eighty per cent of the traditional artisans engaged in production of handicrafts belong to socially and economically backward classes. Kerala has the tradition of making beautiful handicrafts with ivory, bamboo, palm leaves, seashells, wood, coconut shells, clay, cloth, coir, metals, stone, and lacquer ware. Many old handicraft classics can be seen in palaces, old heritage homes and museums in the State.

Importance of Handicraft Industry

Kerala State Handicrafts Apex Co-operative Society (SURABHI), Handicrafts Development Corporation and Artisans Development Corporation are the major promotional agencies in the handicraft industry in State. SURABHI is the apex organization of primary handicrafts co-operatives established with a view to uplift the artisans by marketing their products through the primary co-operatives and implementing welfare schemes with the assistance from State and Central Governments. The turnover of the society during the year 2015-16 was 280.84 lakh less than the previous year’s turnover of 337.33. Apex society received an amount of 170.62 lakh during the year under the scheme, “Assistance to apex organisation in handicrafts sector”. This was primarily used for conducting exhibitions and repair works of showrooms. There are 48 societies and SURABHI made a profit of 2.36 lakh from 13 exhibitions and fairs in the year 2015-16. The total employment provided during the period was 30000. Details are given in Appendix 3.32. The Society conducted 2 exhibitions during 2016-17 as on October 12, 2016 and arrangements are being made for conducting further exhibitions in 12 places inside and outside Kerala.

Handicrafts Development Corporation of Kerala (HDCK) is engaged in procuring and marketing handicraft products by giving fair returns to artisans through Sree Moolam Shashtyabdapurthi Memorial Institute (SMSMI) and Kairali emporia spread all over India. At present it has a network of 19 such sales emporia other than SMSMI. Moreover with the support of Government of India, the Corporation has been implementing welfare schemes to artisans such as Health insurance scheme, conducting exhibitions/craft bazars at important places and tourist centres. HDCK has been running a Common Facility Service Centre (CFSC) at Thiruvananthapuram for artisans who engage in development wood crafts. Assistance to Apex Organisation in the Handicrafts Sector and establishment of Common Facility Service Centre for Handicrafts are the plan schemes implemented through HDCK during 2016-17. HDCK received an amount of 29.37 lakh during the year 2015-16 under the Scheme “Assistance to apex organisation in handicraft sector” which was utilised for organising exhibitions cum sales. This benefitted more than 2500 handicrafts artisans (both directly and indirectly). During the period HDCK was running a loss of 2.45 lakh(provisional) from 49 exhibitions and fairs conducted in the year 2015-16. Total turnover for the period was 1518 lakh. Details are given in Appendix 3.33. The Kerala Artisans Development Corporation (KADCO) is one of the State agencies providing assistance to artisans for establishing production units, promoting marketing of products, and providing employment opportunities through trade fairs and marketing centres.

Bamboo Industry

Bamboo is a highly productive renewable and eco-friendly resource, and has several applications. It is widely used in environment protection, as a nutrient food, high-value construction material and in about 1,500 other applications. It is estimated that about 2.5 billion people use bamboo in one form or the other at the global level. Advanced research activities are conducted to utilize bamboo for efficient fuel generating system.

In Kerala, 28 species of bamboo are found. Bamboos from the Kerala forest are being supplied mainly to the pulp and rayon units under concessional rates. It is estimated that there are about one lakh people in the State dependent on bamboo for their livelihood. It is notable that 67.3 per cent of the extracted bamboo in Kerala comes from home gardens rather than from the forests.

The Kerala State Bamboo Corporation was incorporated in 1971 as a Government of Kerala undertaking to promote the welfare of the traditional Bamboo workers in the state. The main objective of the Corporation is to develop and promote industries based on bamboo, reed, cane and rattan and to undertake manufacturing and trading of the above products, provide financial, technical and other assistance and guidance to the traditional workers. The artisans in the rearing sector around Angamali region is supported by the Kerala State Bamboo Corporation. An Innovation Centre for Bamboo Development and Development of Premium Designs for Mementos are being set up. The major achievements during the year under review are the following: Around 10000 traditional worker families were provided assistance of 1030.36 lakh, Common Facility Centre established for reed collection, facilitation/amenities centre in forest including other facilities, and automatic putty applying machine was installed at Bamboo Flooring tile Factory at Nallalam. Two factories are functioning under the Corporation viz (1) Bamboo Board Factory at Angamaly for manufacture of Bamboo ply (2) Hi-Tech Bamboo Flooring Tile Factory at Nallalam Calicut for manufacture of Bamboo Flooring Tiles, Bamboo furniture and other allied products.

Kerala State Bamboo Mission

Kerala State Bamboo Mission (KSBM) constituted in the year 2003 is designated as the Bamboo Development Agency (BDA) of the State for implementation of the various schemes of the National Bamboo Mission (NBM), under the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India. KSBM has four Sub-Committees namely Propagation of Bamboo, Technology Intervention and R & D, Marketing &Livelihood and Design & Training. For ensuring effective implementation and monitoring of the Schemes, State Bamboo Steering Committee (SBSC) was constituted with the Additional Chief Secretary (Forest & Wildlife) as its Chairman.

The interventions initiated after the formation of KSBM include promoting cultivation of bamboo, creation of new designs for innovative products in the handicrafts sector along with appropriate skill development, promotion of bamboo based modern industries supported by technology adaptation and development. It is expected that this will bring in greater business opportunities at various levels, especially among women and hence improve the living standards of the rural people, there by contributing to the overall growth of the sector.

Kerala Bamboo Missions – Activities undertaken
Bamboo Innovation Centre at Angamaly, Ernakulam

Bamboo Innovation Centre was established at Angamaly, Ernakulam on August 16, 2016. It acts as the Resource Centre for the development of bamboo sector in the State. The main objective of the Centre is to develop a database about propagation, design, process development, and technology.

Bamboo Supply Chain
To ensure the availability of raw/treated bamboo to the artisans/ craftsman in various locations of the state.

Bamboo Information System
Information dissemination among beneficiaries. The software contains information regarding Bamboo products, Bamboo propagation, Treatment (Post Harvest) and Product catalogue.

Participation in Trade Fairs
Exhibition of Furniture cum Home furnishing products, Home Stays & Rural Tourism Travel Meet, UBM Index fair 2015, Mumbai, India International Trade fair 2015, New Delhi,and SwasrayaBharath 2015 exhibitions, Kozhikode .

Training Programmes
It aims at quality enhancement and process improvement training to Bamboo groups, Design transfer training workshops to Bamboo artisans of Micro enterprises & SHGs located at Wayanad, Bamboo Skill Upgradation training programmes through NGOs/Societies and Bamboo Skill Upgradation Training Programmes organised by KSBM at Bamboo Innovation Centre, Angamaly.

Source Kerala Bureau of Industrial Promotion(K-BIP)

Problems and Issues in the sector

  • Lack of Infrastructure facilities, Land Acquisition delays and Environmental Issues
  • Delay in getting license and clearance.
  • Limited credit flow to MSME and lack of skilled man power
  • Lack of effective / efficient Entrepreneurship Development Programmes/Skill Development Programmes.
  • Inadequate collaboration between technology providers and entrepreneurs
  • Lack of modernization and new designs/ innovations
  • Inadequate marketing facilities / handholding support for forward and backward linkages

The governments role has to changed to a facilitator rather than a provider, should intensify its interventions in creating adequate infrastructure, creating appropriate climate to attract private investment, technical up gradation, diversification and modernisation for the revival and strengthening of the MSME sector.


Though Kerala has made considerable achievements in the sphere of industry over the last few years, there are also stiff challenges ahead. They include high cost of production, lack of competitiveness in the global market, minimal forward backward linkages, relative shortage of land and capital, and the virtual absence of important industrial raw material. An integrated approach involving entrepreneurs, Government and the society is essential for achieving faster industrial development of Kerala.

Textile Industry

The Indian Textile Industry plays a significant role in the economic growth of the country through its contribution to industrial output, employment generation, and export earnings. The industry with all its ebbs and flow is a prominent economic activity in the state. Kerala’s textile industry comprises traditional handloom sector, Power loom and the spinning sector.

Handloom Sector

In India, Handloom weaving is the second largest employer after agriculture, providing direct and indirect employment to more than 43 lakh weavers and allied workers. This sector contributes nearly 15 per cent of the cloth production in the country and also contributes to the export earning of the country. In fact, 95 per cent of the world’s hand woven fabric is produced in India. The handloom sector has a unique place in our economy and its strength lies in its uniqueness, flexibility of production, openness to innovations, adaptability to the supplier’s requirement and the wealth of its tradition. The share of Kerala in the national handloom industry remains relatively small even as compared with other Southern states, namely Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Among traditional industries of Kerala, the handloom Sector stands second only to the coir sector in terms of providing employment. The Handloom Industry in the State is mainly concentrated in Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur District and in some parts of Kozhikode, Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Kollam and Kasaragod Districts. The Industry is dominated by the Co-operative sector, covering 96 per cent of total looms. The remaining 4 per cent of Handloom units are owned by Industrial entrepreneurs. The Co-operative sector consists of factory type and cottage type societies. The number of registered Primary Handloom Weavers Co-operative Societies in the State as on October, 2016 is 600 as against 575 during March 2015. Of this, 167 are factory type and 433 are Cottage type societies. Of these 600 societies, 402 are in working condition as on October 2016. The number of factory type Co-operative Societies functioning at present is 84 (50%) and cottage type societies is 318 (53%). Details are given in Appendix 3.34.

The major varieties of products produced in the handloom sector of the State are dhothis, furnishing material, bed sheets, shirting, sarees and lungi. Considering the traditional value and heritage, the following products of the state are registered under the Geo Indication Act of India.

  1. Balaramapuram Sarees and Fine cotton Fabrics
  2. Kasargode Sarees
  3. Kuthampully Sarees
  4. Chendamangalam Dhothi
  5. Cannannore Home Furnishings

Directorate of Handlooms and Textiles and Agencies in Handloom Sector

The Directorate of Handlooms and Textiles, Kerala, functioning under the Department of Industries and Commerce, aims at evolving polices for the promotion and development of handloom and textile sector in the state. The Director heads the office and also acts as the functional registrar of Apex Co-operative weavers’ society and Co-operative Spinning Mills in the State.

Kerala State Handloom Weaver’s Co-operative Society (Hantex)

Kerala State Handloom Weaver’s Co-operative Society (Hantex) was registered under the Kerala Co-operative Society Act 1961. Hantex is the apex body of handloom co-operatives established for distribution of required inputs to primary co-operative societies viz procurement, processing, marketing of goods, process high quality yarn and raw materials for societies and explore new business opportunities by promoting Handloom products through exports. Currently Hantex comprises 520 primary co-operative societies as members. Out of this 350 are engaged in production and procurement processes with most modern infrastructure to produce hand crafted fabrics, garments, furnishings, made-ups, sarees, and traditional wears strictly in tune and harmony with eco-friendly norms for internal and export market. Currently there are 98 sales outlets in Kerala. Hantex incurred an accumulated loss of 1998.48 lakh during 2015-16. Details of Hantex are given in Appendix 3.35.

Kerala State Handloom Development Corporation (Hanveev)

Hanveev, which started functioning in 1968, is another agency for the upliftment of traditional handloom weavers in the unorganized sector in handloom industry with its registered office at Kannur and engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of wide range of handloom products depending on the market trends and sold at various outlets throughout Kerala. At present, Corporation has 50 own showrooms, 7 exclusive agency showrooms and 32 production centres. Details of Hanveev are given in Appendix 3.36 and Appendix 3.37. In 2015-16, Hanveev’s sales turnover was 1903.94 lakh, but it incurred an accumulated loss of 7808.58 lakh (provisional).

Indian Institute of Handloom Technology (IIHT)

IIHT, which is an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Industries, Government of Kerala, is the nodal agency in the State for providing technological inputs to the handloom sector. The Institute was established and registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 in the year 1987 in the name of Institute of Handloom and Textile Technology (IHTT). Now the Institute of Handloom and Textile Technology, is amalgamated to the Indian Institute of Handloom Technology(IIHT), which is working on the guidelines of the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

Handloom Industry in Kerala

For the development of handloom industry, Government extended assistance of 173.86 lakh by way of loan and 955.97 lakh by way of grant in 2015-16. The details are shown in Appendix 3.38.The total value of production in the handloom sector showed an increase of 13.5 per cent from 298.89 crores in 2014-15 to 339.25 crores in 2015-16. The total number of weavers employed declined by 13 per cent, from 23,071 in 2014-15 to 20,135 in 2015-16. But the number of women employed increased from 13,238 in 2014-15 to 15,093 in 2015-16. Total employment in the sector increased from 66.37 lakh man days in 2014-15 to 67.37 lakh man days in 2015-16. Total turnover for the handloom industry during 2015-16 is 203.55 crore, which includes money, man, and material costs. The average wage rate prevailing in the industry ranges between 150 to 200 per day. Details regarding production in handloom industry in Kerala are given in Appendix 3.39 and in Figure 3.13. Figure 3.14 shows production and value of production and employment generated (lakh man days) in the handloom sector respectively.

Figure 3.13
Production and Value of production in Handloom sector


Source: Directorate of Handloom and Textiles, Govt. of Kerala

Figure 3.13 exhibits a steady increase in production and value of production. The employment generated , however, exhibits an increasing trend during the initial two years and thereafter shows a decreasing trend (Figure. 3.14). Age - wise distribution of workers engaged in the handloom industry is shown in the Figure.3.15.

Figure 3.14
Employment generated in the Handloom sector, in lakh mandays-


Source: Directorate of Handloom and Textiles, Govt. of Kerala

Figure 3.15
Age wise distribution of workers in the Handloom sector


Source: Directorate of Handloom and Textiles, Government of Kerala

Figure 3.15 shows that approximately 2/3rd of all female workers in the handloom sector are aged 46 years or more. Workers who are less than 25 years are negligible. Workers who are 35 or less are only 5 per cent or even less. Among male workers 90 per cent are above 46 years. The plan outlay and expenditure of the handloom sector from the financial year 2012-13 to 2016-17 is given in Table 3.6

Table 3.6
Plan outlay & Expenditure of the handloom sector during the 12th Five Year Plan period, in lakh

Year Plan outlay Plan expenditure Expenditure as Per cent of outlay
2012-13 6807.00 7168.13 105.3
2013-14 7676.00 8687.04 113.2
2014-15 6714.50 6652.48 99.1
2015-16 6715.00 9326.06 139.0
2016-17* 7073.00 1967.14 27.81
Grand total 34985.5 33800.85 96.6

Source : Budget 2012-13 to 2016-17, State planning Board and Planspace
*Expenditure upto October 30, 2016

The expenditure recorded in the handloom sector during the reference period has been more than 100 per cent except in 2014-15 when it was 99 per cent. The trend of allocation and expenditure for the first four years of 12th five year plan period (2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 & 2015-16) are shown in the Figure 3.16

Fig 3.16
Plan outlay and expenditure in the Handloom sector, in lakh


Source : Budget 2012-13 to 2016-17, State planning Board and Planspace
*Expenditure upto October 30, 2016

The variation in outlay and expenditure was comparatively low between 2012-13 and 2014-15. But in 2015-16,the expenditure was 39 per cent more than outlay, because of the increase in expenditure on the scheme for spinning mills.

Major Schemes Implemented by the Directorate of Handloom & Textiles during 2015-16

1.Capital Support schemes
Various programmes for infrastructure development were directed to PHWCS and apex societies under this scheme in 2015-16. The objectives included technology upgradation, revitalisation and development of the favourable working condition in the units. In the same year 14 production units were started under promotion of ‘master weavers’ and 20 new handloom units were started with 100 looms under Self Employment Scheme.

2.Skill & Capacity development Scheme
In 2015-16, 657 weavers were trained under this scheme for developing value added products.

3.Incentive Schemes
Large number of weavers benefitted through different incentive schemes such as weavers/allied workers motivation programme, income support scheme, Contributory Thrift Fund Scheme and Group insurance scheme.

4.Marketing & Trade promotion scheme
As part of marketing and trade promotion, assistance was given for renovation of show rooms and conducting Handloom Expos.

5.Training Schemes
As per this scheme, training of 3 to 6 months is given to 30 talented weavers from different parts of the state to help them to develop new designs.

The strength of the handloom sector lies in production of intricate woven fabric, its versatility & wide variety, diverse design base, abiity to switchover to new designs quickly, availability of high skilled labour, traditional mode of production with low technology, non- requirement of electricity, eco- friendly technology/process, informal school for skill generation and transfer of technology.However, the sector faces many challenges. They include the decline in the number of handloom weavers due to falling wages, low productivity, lack of technological interventions, competition from power looms and competition from textile units outside state. Other issues include the lack of product diversification in accordance with new trends, shortage of working capital, fluctuations in prices of hank yarn and cotton.

Several measures are needed to modernize the handloom sector. Technology needs to be upgraded to ensure improvements in product quality and productivity. The sector should make use of the possibilities of Information technology to improve the production and marketing of value added handloom products in national and international markets. To improve the productivity of weavers, productivity linked incentives may be routed through Direct Benefit Transfer System (DBTS). With modernisation/mechanisation, value addition may improve which may increase the income flow to the sector and prevent the exit of workers from this sector. As part of the Handloom innovation programme, production of organic cloth with ‘Made in Kerala’ branding can be promoted. Showcasing the rich traditions of the handloom sector can aid the development of tourism in Kerala.

Major Physical Achievements during 2015-16

  • Started Handloom Incubation Centre and Powerloom incubation centre in Thiruvananthapuram District.
  • Given Skill development training to 657 weavers.
  • Given training for 30 weavers in solid borders and in new designs.
  • Given training for 49 weavers in Hand loom Art works
  • Conducted 69 seminars cum exhibitions for the propagation of handloom products.
  • Assistance given to 20 new weavers to start new hand loom production units.
  • Technological Up gradation work of 14 Hand loom Societies completed.
  • 10210 Hand loom weavers and 423 Power loom weavers admitted to Group Insurance Scheme.
  • Given skill development training to 120 Power loom weavers

Textile Sector – Spinning Mills

The Textile Industry in Kerala is organized into public sector units, co-operatives and units jointly in public/co-operative sectors.

Kerala State Textile Corporation Limited (KSTC)

KSTC, a Government of Kerala undertaking, was incorporated in 1972 with the main objective of setting up and running textile mills in the state. The Corporation has four mills and one research & testing centre. Mills under KSTC are Prabhuram mills, Kottayam Textiles, Edarikkode Textiles and Malabar Spinning & Weaving Mills. Two other units, Sitaram Textiles and Trivandrum Spinning Mills Limited are now under the administrative control of KSTC. In addition, Corporation has under its fold a research and testing division (CARDT), located at Balaramapuram (Thiruvananthapuram), which is rendering service for testing of fibers, cotton and yarn for the textile units in Kerala.

Kerala State Co-operative Textile Federation Limited –TEXFED

TEXFED was established in 1992 as a body to plan, assist and supervise the setting up and management of co-operative textile units in Kerala. TEXFED is the apex body of Co-operative Spinning Mills and Integrated Power loom Co-operative Societies in the State. It integrates all the segments of the textile industry including spinning, weaving, processing and garmenting. There are seven co-operative Spinning Mills as members of TEXFED. Five of them are administered by the state government and two by elected boards.

Mills involved in spinning and weaving in Kerala have been facing problems of demand and supply. Outdated machinery, stiff competition with high cost of raw material, low productivity, decreasing profits, and lack of working capital are also issues of concern for textile mills in Kerala.

The Government has set up a centralized purchase system to procure cotton for the entire textile sector with the help of a professionally constituted committee. The committee comprises members from Public Sector Restructuring and Internal Audit Board (RIAB), Kerala State Co-operative Textile Federation Limited (TEXFED) and Kerala State Textile Corporation Ltd (KSTC) and Managing Directors of the spinning mills. The sale of yarn carried out through depot system is also monitored by the same committee. The intervention by the committee has helped to reduce raw material costs and generate sufficient savings in the textile sector. A majority of textile spinning mills in the State are over 25 years old and they use obsolete technology and equipment. Partial modernization was attempted in certain units, but it was not at par with the industry standards.

Modernisation of Co-operative Spinning Mills

The Government took diligent efforts to revive the co-operative sector by introducing a scheme which provided assistance for the expansion of Co-operative Spinning Mills. Assistance was provided to K. Karunakaran Memorial Spinning at Mala, Priyadarsini Co-operative Spinning Mill (Prico Mills), and Malabar Co-operative Spinning Mills for upgrading existing machinery and technology for producing export quality yarn.

Power loom Industry

The weaving sector is relatively less developed in Kerala. Around 75 per cent of the textile mills in Kerala are spinning mills, which produce cotton yarn. To promote the weaving sector, government provided budgetary support to set up four integrated power loom co-operative societies in the state. Currently there are 52 power loom co-operative societies in the state. The co-operative sector owns 550 looms out of a total of 575 power looms in the State. The year wise details of production and productivity under power loom industry for the period from 2011-12 to 2015-16 is given in Appendix 3.40.

Khadi and Village Industries

Kerala’s share in production, sales and employment provided by Khadi and Village Industries sector in India has been relatively small (see Table 3.7). Compared to 2014-15, there was a decline in production and mandays employed by Khadi and Village Industries sector in Kerala in 2015-16.(Figure 3.17). The value of production has declined from Rs. 136.35 crore in 2014-15 to Rs. 135.66 crore in 2015-16.

Table 3.7
Production, Sales and Employment generation in Khadi and village industries sector

Year Production (crore) State’s Share Sales (crore) State’s Share Cumulative Employment ( in lakh mandays) State’s Share
India Kerala Per cent India Kerala Per cent India Kerala Per cent
2011-12 21852.04 144.73 0.66 26797.13 167.47 0.62 119.1 1.29 1.08
2012-13 24024.24 145.79 0.61 27839.69 170.84 0.61 124.76 1.20 0.96
2013-14 26109.08 139.79 0.54 31152.4 172.55 0.55 140.38 1.17 0.83
2014-15 27569.37 136.35 0.49 33135.9 170.03 0.51 134.25 1.09 0.81
2015-16 27868.05 135.66 0.49 37642.24 161.30 0.43 154.84 0.99 0.64

Source: Annual Report 2015-16, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises,
Govt. of India and Village Industries Board, Kerala

Figure 3.17
Production, Sales and Employment in Khadi and Village Industries in Kerala


Source: Annual Report 2015-16, Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises,
Govt. of India & Village Industries Board, Kerala

Employment in K&VI in Kerala has declined sharply from 1.29 lakh mandays in 2011-12 to 0.99 lakh mandays in 2015-16. Production and sales of the sector within the State is also showing a downward trend. A major reason for the fall in the number of workers engaged in the sector in Kerala is the migration of workers to better paying jobs in other sectors or for higher education. The sector has been plagued by issues like non-availability of sufficient raw-material for large-scale production, boom in the growth of the power looms industry in the country, shift in the nature of demand for clothing, and the use of low productivity charkhas, looms and other accessories.

The allocation of funds from various sources to K&VI Board and the expenditure incurred by the Khadi and Village Industries Board during 2014-15 and 2015-16 are shown in Table 3.8.

Table 3.8
Fund allocated to and Expenditure incurred by K&VI Board in Kerala, in lakh

Particulars 2014-15 2015-16
Receipt Expenditure Receipt Expenditure
State Government Grant -PLAN1. Administrative Expenses (Budget provision)2. Income Support Scheme (Fund through DIC) 341.62200 341.62200 196.002700.00 196.002700.00
State Government Grant - NON-PLAN1.Non- Plan – Administrative Expenses2.Non- Plan - Special Rebate 2812.241160 34930.91160 3037.212213.00 3575.292213.00
KVIC Grant1. PMEGP - Margin Money Grant2. Grant for District Awareness Camps an District Level Exhibition of PMEGP3. Grant for stationery, Publicity, TA, Expense for the Scheme PMEGP 813.625.402.15 813.625.402.15 819.46 1.202.15 819.461.202.15

Source: Khadi and Village Industries Board, Government of Kerala.

Figure 3.18
Financial Performance from 2012-13 to 2015-16


Source : Budget 2012-13 to 2015-16, Accounts and Planspace

Plan Outlay and Expenditure in The Sector During The First Four Years Of The 12th Five Year Plan

Plan expenditure was higher than plan outlay during 2012-14. However, during 2014-15 the expenditure was only 24 per cent only of the outlay of 1397.6 lakh. This was because of the delay in release of funds by the Govt. The expenditure increased to 80 per cent in 2015-16. (Table 3.9)

Table 3.9
Financial Performance from 2012-13 to 2015-16

Year Outlay Expenditure Percentage
2012-13 1210.00 1306.00 108
2013-14 1331.00 2490.00 187
2014-15 1397.60 341.60 24
2015-16 1397.60 1114.60 80
Grand total 5336.20 5252.20 98

Source : Budget 2012-13 to 2015-16, Accounts and Planspace

Moreover, goods worth 537.96 crores has been produced through the Aided Units of the K&VI Board, including through the Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP) and Prime Minister Employment Guarantee Programme (PMEGP), and goods worth 601.13 crore has been sold, providing employment to 1,39,569 persons. It is observed that the productivity per person is much higher in K&VI Aided Units than in K&VI Departmental units. The production, sales and wages paid and employment generated during 2014-15 & 2015-16 and District wise details of Departmental sales outlets and sales under K&VI Board for the period referred to are provided in Appendix 3.41 and Appendix 3.42 respectively.

Special Employment Generation Programme (SEGP) has been launched with a aim of giving financial support to the small-scale entrepreneurs and traditional labourers, who did not get benefits of Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP).The total Project Cost for the programme during 2015-16 was 910.59 lakh. Total employment generated during this period was 1148. Employment generation was the highest in Alappuzha (298) followed by Kottayam(192). The amount disbursed as subsidy through the programme was 294.32 lakh and the total number of units started during this period is 351. District level Awareness Camp and Exhibitions were conducted by the Board. The details of district wise achievement under self-employment generation programme for the year 2015-16 is provided in Appendix 3.43

Technology and Value Addition

Khadi industry employs traditional technology. The Board has initiated measures,with the assistance of IIT Madras,for infusion of technological innovation to improve the production capacity of existing implements. There is ample scope for generating more employment in the Khadi sector. The Board proposes to create 10,000 new jobs in Khadi sector during the 13th five year plan period.

Marketing 2015-16

The Board has 208 sales outlets for Khadi and Village Industries goods which include Khadi Grama Soubhagya (39), Khadi Soubhagya (51), Grama Soubhagya (GS Depot115) and mobile sales van (3).The Board has conducted Onam Melas in 2015. The state level Onam Melas have been inaugurated at Kannur on July 23, 2015. Sales through OnamMela 2015 was 25.8 crore against the tar get for 25 crore. District-wise sales for the year 2016-17 (Up to September 30, 2016) are given in Table 3.10.

Table 3.10
District-wise Annual Sales For The Year from 2016-17 *

SL. NO. Name of District Target for 2016-17 Amount ( lakh) Number of Sale Outlets Amount
1 Thiruvananthapuram 400 18 282.20
2 Kollam 300 15 291.99
3 Pathanamthitta 175 7 247.94
4 Alappuzha 225 8 205.26
5 Kottayam 270 16 189.22
6 Idukki 140 3 141.80
7 Ernakulam 885 12 569.08
8 Thrissut 300 19 199.07
9 Palakkad 325 19 245.71
10 Malappuram 130 14 88.80
11 Kozhikode 450 29 254.07
12 Wayanad 60 1 36.87
13 PKC (Kannur, Kasargod) 1640 47 1393.49
Total 5300 208 4145.5

Source: Khadi and Village Industries Board, Government of Kerala
*Upto September 30, 2016

Major Physical achievements of Khadi and Village Industries Board during 2015-16

  • K&VI Board has created 2906 new employment opportunities through Prime Minister’s
    Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) scheme during 2015-16.
  • An amount of 819.46 lakh was given as margin money grant to beneficiaries.
  • The Government has exempted building tax for all departmental Khadi production centres working under the Board.
  • The Board has increased the Khadi Production by 20 per cent than the previous year through its own production centres.
  • The total cost of the cloth produced during 2015-16 is 2000.50 lakh.
  • 25 new departmental Khadi production centres has been established, 780 new charka and 650 new looms were installed, and 20 new readymade warping units were set up.
  • The Board has imparted training to 650 new artisans in khadi weaving and provided employment to them.
  • The Festival incentives to Khadi workers has been enhanced to 1000 which was disbursed during Onam.
  • The production incentives to Khadi weavers have been enhanced to 180 paisa from 90 paisa for the hank consumed for weaving. The production incentives to Khadi spinners have been enhanced to 60 paisa from 30 paisa for the hank produced.
  • The Board has disbursed 4 crore as production/festival incentives to Khadi spinners and weavers during 2015-16.
  • All the Khadi workers in the State will be under the purview of E.S.I Act from April 1, 2016 and all the benefits under the E.S.I Act will be given to Khadi workers also.
  • During 2015-16, the Board has disbursed 27 crore to khadi workers in the State to ensure minimum wages to them through Income Support Scheme.

Constraints & Strategies of Khadi and Village Industry

A major reason for the fall in the number of workers engaged in this sector is the migration of workers to more attractive and remunerative opportunities in other sectors. Other causes for the stagnancy prevailing in this sector are surplus stock of unsold Khadi, difficulty in availing credit from banks, lack of adoption of new marketing techniques, lack of product innovation, low quality of products, and high cost of production. Effective steps should be taken for extension of marketing facilities and development of a marketing strategy. Support institutions should be strengthened and R & D should also be developed. So a very effective, strong and pragmatic approach should be taken up both at the Department and Government level to revamp the industry.

Coir Industry

India is the largest producer of coir in the world, accounting for more than 80 per cent of the pro duction of coir fibre globally. Coir and coir products have been exported to 115 countries including China, USA, Netherlands, South Korea, and Spain . Coir industry first emerged in Kerala in the 19th century. The State’s long coast line, lakes, lagoons and backwaters provided natural condition required for retting, an important part in coir pro cessing. With the expansion of coconut cultivation, coir industry has picked up in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Assam and Tripura.

Kerala accounts for about 85 per cent of the total production of coir in the country. The coir Industry comprises four sectors. They are: (i). retting and fibre extraction sector (ii). spinning sector (iii). manufacturing sector and (iv). trading (including exports). This agro-based rural industry provides sustenance to around 2 lakh families in the coastal belt of Kerala. 80 per cent of workers are women. The co- operative sector plays a major role in the coir industry in Kerala. The private sector too has a large presence in the industry as, coir yarn producers, product manufacturers and exporters.

Directorate of Coir Development and Agencies in Coir Sector

The activities and programmes of the coir sector in Kerala are co-ordinated by Directorate of Coir Development, Govt. of Kerala. The Directorate also acts as a facilitator for the promotion of the coir industry in the state. Kerala State Co-operative Coir Marketing Federation (COIRFED), Kerala State Coir Corporation Ltd (KSCC), Foam Mattings India Limited (FOMIL), National Coir Research & Management Institute (NCRMI), Central Coir Research Institute and Coir Board are the other important institutions for the promotion of coir industry. Coir Board with its head office at Kochi, Kerala is the arm of the Central Government for development and promotion of Coir Industry.

The Kerala State Co-operative Coir Marketing Federation (Coirfed)

COIRFED is the apex federation of primary coir co-operative societies spread all over Kerala. It is entrusted with the task of procuring products from co-operative societies and marketing them. At present COIRFED has two factories engaged in the manufacture of value added products – one producing rubberized coir products and the other rubber backed coir mats. COIRFED has four defibering units. The value of exports of COIRFED increased from 13.11 lakh in 2014-15 to 29.17 lakh in 2015-16.

Kerala State Coir Corporation (KSCC)

KSCC was set up in 1969 for the systematic development of coir industry in the State. It caters to the needs of the small-scale coir manufacturers by providing them facilities for manufacturing and marketing. Its diversified operations include curled coir manufacturing and allied products sectors. KSCC has been implementing the Purchase Price Stabilization (PPS) scheme in the coir sector. Under the scheme the KSCC directly procures coir products from small-scale producers and co-operatives, thereby avoiding middle men. The value of export by the corporation has increased from 4.16 crore in 2014-15 to 8.14 crore in 2015-16.

Foam Mattings India Ltd. (FOMIL)

FOMIL was established in 1979 to help the development of value-added coir products. It has emphasised the use of technology and machinery in coir industry. It has introduced Latex Backing Plant, which produces latex backed mattings, Modern Dye House, Semi Automatic and Fully automatic Power loom, Auxiliary facilities and uninterrupted power system. The latex backing facility was introduced in 1980, with the machinery imported from Denmark. Even today, Fomil has the monopoly in latex backed production. The company has started the modern dye house in the year 2000 mainly to support the needs of exporters and powerloom. The value of exports from Fomil was 49.99 lakh in 2014-15 and 13.05 lakh in 2015-16.

The National Coir Research and Management Institute (NCRMI)

NCRMI is a State Government institution set up to strengthen the R&D activities in coir sector to enable the industry in producing more value – added products and products with new designs at reasonable cost. Also NCRMI have been conducting studies for the development of new coir technologies in collaboration with similar research organizations across the country and even at the International level.

The Central Coir Research Institute

The Central Coir Research Institute at Kalavoor, Alappuzha is one of the prime research centre of Coir Board.This institute is recognised by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and was established in 1959. It implements all the S & T programs for the development of Coir Industry.

Kerala State Coir Workers Welfare Fund Board

Kerala Coir Workers Welfare Fund Board is a statutory body for the welfare of poor and down trodden coir workers. There are two lakh eight thousand two hundred and fifty one (208251) coir workers registered with the Board as on July 31, 2016. Among these approximately 80 per cent are women workers. It extends pension and other welfare assistances to members. (Source: Kerala Coir Workers’ Welfare Fund Board, Alappuzha)

Co-operatives in Coir

Coir co-operative societies play substantial role in collecting husk, defibring and producing varieties of coir products in Kerala. There are 1007 co-operatives registered in coir sector as on March 31, 2016. As per the report of the Coir Directorate 16 new societies were registered during 2015-16 . There is also increase in the number of working societies from 536 to 544, an increase by 8 units. Details of the societies are shown in
Appendix 3.44.

Procurement of Husk and Production of Yarn and Fibre in Co- operative sector

In 2015-16, coir co-operatives in Kerala procured 0.98 crore quantity of husk by spending an amount of 1.21 crore and 11847.27 tonnes of fibre at a cost of 33.93 crore. Around 10771.11 tonnes of coir yarn worth 54.59 crore was produced. There is an increment in the procurement of husk by coir co- operatives during 2015- 16 compared to previous year. In 2015-16, there were 455 coir co-operative societies in Kerala in the production of coir yarn and 76 co-operative societies in the coir products sector. Total wages paid in the coir yarn sector and coir products sector, in 2015-16 were 3083.58 lakh and 657.4 lakh respectively.
Details for the last Five Years are shown in Appendix 3.45.

Age wise distribution of workers in coir sector

Age wise distribution of workers in coir sector during the period 2015-16 is shown in Table 3.11 and Figure 3.19.From the Table 3.11 and Figure 3.19, it is observed that 80 per cent of the workers are female and the number of workers in this industry who are aged 25 years or below is very low. Number of male workers engaged in this sector is highest between the age group 56-65 and that of female workers is in the age group 46-55. It can also be observed that workers who are more than 65 years of age are also few in the industry.

Table 3.11
Age wise distribution of workers in the coir industry in Kerala in 2015-16

Sl. No Age group Number of Workers
Males Females Persons
1 25 years or below 22 343 365
2 26-35 years 88 1952 2040
3 36-45 years 222 4958 5180
4 46-55 years 485 7122 7607
5 56-65 years 496 3525 4021
6 Above 65 years 100 300 400
7 All age groups 1413 18200 19613

Source: Directorate of Coir Development (as per income support scheme)

Fig 3.19
Age wise distribution of workers in the coir industry in Kerala in 2015-16


Source: Directorate of Coir Development

Export of Coir and Coir Products

The export of coir and coir products from India in quantity terms during the year 2015-16 was 75,2020 MT, valued at 1901.43 crore against 62,6666 MT valued at 1630.34 crore during the previous year. This recorded an overall increase of 20 per cent in quantity and 17 per cent in value over the export of previous year. Curled coir, coir fibre, coir rugs, coir pith, coir rope, coir yarn, coir geo-textile, handloom matting, power loom Mats, rubberized coir and other sorts constitutes the major export items of the industry during 2015-16.The details of export of Coir and Coir Products during last 5 years by Public sector undertakings / COIRFED in Kerala are given in Appendix 3.46 and Figure 3.20.

Figure 3.20
Export of coir & coir products by State PSUs from 2011-12 onwards, in lakh


Source: Directorate of Coir Development, Govt. of Kerala

The export of coir and coir products of Public Sector Undertaking in Kerala shows a positive trend from 2011-12 to 2015-16. As compared to previous years, during 2015-16 export shows a hike of about 80 per cent. This is due to the increase in the export of Kerala State Coir Corporation. At national level, growth in production and export is positive, although it fluctuates over years. Figure 3.21 provides the comparison of the growth rates of export of State PSUs to the coir exports at national level.

Figure 3.21
Rates of growth of exports of Coir Products by State PSUs in Kerala and from India as a whole

Source: Coir Board Statistics and Directorate of Coir Development, Govt. of Kerala

The plan outlay and expenditure in coir sector from the financial year 2012-13 to 2016-17 is given in Table 3.12

Table 3.12
State Plan outlay for and expenditure by the coir sector in Kerala, during the 12th Five Year Plan period, in lakh

Year Plan Outlay Plan Expenditure Expenditure as per cent of outlay
2012-13 10070.00 9838.05 97.69
2013-14 11137.00 6640.76 59.63
2014-15 11693.90 5817.66 49.75
2015-16 11694.00 6828.52 58.39
2016-17 11700.00 2692.91* 23.02
Grand Total 56294.9 31817.9 56.52

*Data up to October 30, 2016
Source : Budget 2012-13 to 2016-17, State planning Board and Planspace

Plan expenditure was only 50-60 per cent of plan outlay between 2013-14 and 2015-16. The trend of allocation and expenditure for the first four years of 12th five year plan period are shown in the Figure 3.22

Figure 3.22
Plan outlay and plan expenditure in the coir sector in Kerala, in crore


Source : Budget 2012-13 to 2016-17, State Planning Board and Planspace

The reasons for the poor utilisation of plan funds are the inclusion of non-viable and feasible proposals, technical and administrative constraints and, delays in giving sanction to projects after obtaining approvals from the working groups.

Thrust Areas for Development of Coir Industry

There have been a number of programmes to modernise the coir sector in the country including cluster development programme, mechanisms for collection and utilization of coconut husks, and programmes for product development, technological upgradation, quality improvement, value addition and diversification.

National Coir Policy

Coir Board has evolved a draft National Coir Policy and Vision 2025 with a view to develop the Coir Industry in a holistic manner. The policy broadly defines the vision of Government of India on coir sector development and the targets to be achieved by 2025. The National Coir Policy aims at,
  • Enhancing the utilization of coconut husks available in the coconut producing states for coir fibre extraction.
  • Improving the quality of coir fibre, yarn and products produced in India.
  • Women empowerment through value addition of coir products and coir pith.
  • Zero wastage in the extraction of fibre and manufacturing process.
  • Inventions in product and process for use in betterment of society and environment
  • Modernising equipment so as to eliminate drudgery in the production processes and enhance productivity and quality.
  • Addressing the problem of infrastructure bottlenecks
  • Supporting modernization and technology upgradation of industry
  • Providing assistance for capacity building in industry
  • Providing employment to the existing coir workers and generating additional employment
  • Undertaking vigorous research and development activities for finding new products based on coir
  • Development of high productivity defibering units and mechanical spinning machines
  • Finding new uses for Coir Wood, Coir Pith and exploring more business opportunities within India and abroad.
  • Augmenting fibre availability in the country and facilitating high growth and competitiveness of the coir sector
  • Developing domestic and export markets for coir products
  • Promoting Consortium approach in the production and marketing of coir products
  • Implementing schemes for welfare of coir workers.
  • Promoting towns of export excellence in coir in areas of coir production.

Central Government Schemes in Coir Sector

Mahila Coir Yojana

The Mahila Coir Yojana is the first women oriented self- employment scheme in the Coir Industry, which provides self- employment opportunities to the rural women artisan in regions producing coir fibre. The conversion of Coir fibre into yarn on motorized ratt in rural households provides scope for large-scale employment, improvement in productivity and quality, better working conditions and higher income to the workers.

Coir Udyami Yojana

The Coir Board is implementing a scheme for the Rejuvenation, Modernisation and Technology Upgradation of Coir Industry (REMOT) to facilitate sustainable development of the Coir sector in the country. This will in turn generate more employment opportunities especially for women and the weaker sections of the rural society.

Major schemes implemented by the Directorate of Coir Development during 2015-16

  • Regulated Mechanization of Coir Industry intended to modernize the industr

    • Modernisation of Malabar Coir complex, installation of statutory fire fighting system and fire safety roads at Coir Park division,Kanichukulangara, fabrication of standard defibering machines for distribution in Kerala, distribution and installation of automatic spinning machines, and other infrastructural development activities were undertaken during 2015-16.
  • Marketing, Publicity, Propaganda Trade Exhibitions and Assistance for Setting up of Showrooms
    • Conducted Coir Kerala,2015, online promotion of coir sector through marketing division of National Coir Research and Management Institute. New market oriented strategy was undertaken to increase the sale of coir products during onam season during 2015-16.
  • Price Fluctuation Fund intended to stabilize the price of coir fibre, and yarn.
    • Assistance given to Kerala State Coir Corporation, COIRFED, Fomil, to compensate the amount they spent as part of the price fluctuation scheme.
  • Coir Geo Textiles Development Programme
    • Intended to implement pilot projects for new coir-based products, including the use of Geo textiles as a standard engineering material.
  • Production and Marketing Incentive scheme
    • Production and Marketing Incentive given to 137 coir co-operatives
  • Market Development Assistance for the Sale of Coir and Coir Products.
    • Market Development Assistance given to 3 societies and coir project offices through the department.

Coir industry in Kerala faces competition in both the domestic and international markets. One of its major challenges is the relatively high cost of coir products in comparison to its synthetic substitutes. Wage costs account for around 70 per cent of the total product cost in the coir sector. To improve wages of workers in the coir industry, it is important that the industry finds ways to increase value added per worker. For a revival of the industry it is important to leverage coir’s value as a natural fibre. The coir industry in Kerala should try to build itself on a slogan of ‘return to nature’. At the same time, it should find ways to remedy some of the bottlenecks such as weak procurement of coconut husk, increased cost of production, pollution caused during traditional method of ratting and husk beating, and lack of professional management.

Cashew Industry

India’s cashew nut is the third widely consumed edible tree nut (source: India’s production of cashew nut in 2014 was 7, 37,000 metric tons, which accounted for 18 per cent of the total cashew production in the world. In fact, India is the largest producer of raw cashew nut in the world, followed by Ivory Coast, Vietnam and Guinea Bissau. Other major producers include Tanzania, Nigeria, Brazil, Indonesia and Mozambique (see Table 3.13).

Table 3.13
Production of Cashew nut in selected Countries, 2014, in Metric Tons (MT)

Countries 2011 2012 2013 2014
India 692000 674000 728000 737000
Ivory Coast 400000 460000 525000 460000
Vietnam 300002 264810 252000 425000
Guinea Bissau 190000 176400 158000 220000
Tanzania 149999 130000 126000 120000

Source: Cashew Export Promotion Council, Kollam

Figure 3.23
Shares of selected countries in total cashew nut production in the world


Source: Cashew export Promotion council, Kollam

In India more than 50 per cent of the cashew processing is carried out in the unorganised sector. There are nearly 1800 medium to large and 2200 on-farm level processing units, engaging mostly women workers The major distribution of Cashew in India is in the States of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra along the West Coast and Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa along the East Coast and in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, and North Eastern States. At present the area under cashew is 10.08 lakh ha with a production of 7.37 lakh MT and productivity 782 kg/ha. India’s requirement of raw cashew nut is about 16.23 lakh tons . Hence, the balance quantity to the tune of 8.98 lakh MT of raw cashew nuts is being met by importing raw nuts from African and South East Asian countries, still leaving a gap of 1.15 lakh MT of raw nuts. During 2015-16 India imported 9, 58,339 MT of raw cashew nuts.

According to DGCI&S figures (Source: CEPCI, Kollam), cashew kernels exported from India during 2014-15 and 2015-16 were 118952 MT and 96,346 MT valued at 5432.85 and 4952.12 crore respectively. The major international markets for cashew kernels processed in India were United States of America, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Japan, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, France, Korea DP Republic Germany, Belgium, Spain, Kuwait, the United Kingdom (UK),Iran and Singapore. Foreign exchange earnings of India from cashew industry, for the period from 2007-08 to 2016-17 (April-October -Estimate) is given in Appendix 3.47.

India is the third largest consumer of cashew nuts in the world. On an average 150 to 160 thousand MT of cashew kernels produced in India get absorbed in the domestic market. In fact, the domestic demand for cashew nut is steadily increasing in India.

Among the major raw cashew producing states, the production and productivity is the highest in Maharashtra, mainly on account of the use of high yielding varieties of crops, adoption of better management practices and the provision for protective irrigation. According to DCCD figures, as on 2015-16, Kerala ranks 5th in the production of raw cashew nuts. The state-wise estimates on area under cultivation, Production and productivity of cashew in India is given in Appendix 3.48.

Cashew Industry- Kerala scenario

The Cashew Industry in Kerala is mainly concentrated in Kollam District.The Central Government recognises Kollam as a “Centre of Cashew Industry”.The industry is highly labour intensive and employs more than 2 lakh workers, a majority of them women (above 90 per cent). Thus the industry provides a source of income for a large number of low-income families. In 2014-15, the export of cashew and cashew Kernels through Cochin port was 68150 MT. Kerala accounts for 11 per cent of cashew production and 35 per cent of all cashew nut processing units in India. The state needs around 6 lakh MT of raw cashew in a year for catering to the needs of its 800 factories.

During the 11th Five year Plan, the state government allotted an amount of 186.50 crore for the cashew sector and the expenditure out of this was 175.78 crore (94 per cent). The overall allocation and expenditure for the cashew sector as part of the State’s Five year Plan programmes from 2012-13 to 2016-17 (up to December 14, 2016) are provided in Table 3.14.

Table 3.14
State Plan Outlay and Expenditure by Cashew Sector in Kerala, in crore

Year Outlay Expenditure Expenditure as per cent of Outlay
2012-13 65.00 65.00 100
2013-14 71.50 71.50 100
2014-15 54.50 33.50 61.47
2015-16 45.00 45.00 100.01
*2016-17 45.00 42.31 94.03
Grand Total 236.00 215.00 91.10

Source: Accounts and Planspace, State Planning Board

Table 3.14 shows that the budgeted outlay during 12th plan was 236.00 crore ,20.98 per cent increase over 11th plan and the expenditure as on December 14, 2016 was 215.00 crore (91.10 per cent).

Figure 3.24
State Plan Outlay and Expenditure by Cashew Sector in Kerala, in lakh


Source: Cashew export Promotion council, Kollam

With respect to the production of raw cashew nuts, Kerala had the top rank among Indian states in the early 1990s, but its position has now dropped to the 4th, behind Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Orissa. The status of area as well as production of cashew for the period from 2010-11 to 2015-16 is depicted in Figure.3.25.

Figure 3.25
Area under cultivation (in 1000 hectares) and Production of cashew (in 1000 MT) in Kerala


Source: Cashew export Promotion council, Kollam

Area and yield per acre of Cashew Cultivation has decreased in Kerala mainly due to the replacement of cashew with crops such as rubber and rapid urbanisation. Increasing the area under cashew cultivation in Kerala from the current 90,000 ha to around 2 lakh ha can give a boost to cashew industry in the state.

The Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) and Kerala State Cashew Workers Apex Co-operative Society (CAPEX) are the two agencies of the State engaged in cashew processing sector in Kerala.

The Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC)

The Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) has 30 factories with about 11000 workers. The Corporation processes raw cashew nuts and produces value added products. The Corporation provided, on an average, employment for 106 days to its workers in 2015-16. During this period, Corporation has provided employment to 10632 persons and the total turnover achieved was 6940 lakh, which is 52.76 per cent less than in the previous year of 14690 lakh. The Corporation incurred a loss of 2058 lakh, which is 37.24 per cent less than the loss of Rs. 3279 lakh of the previous year . The highest rate of loss was reported during 2012-13 amounting to 88768 lakh. The performance of KSCDC during the last 5 years is given in Appendix 3.49. CAPEX and KSCDC altogether employ about 14600 workers which is less than 10 per cent of the total workers in this sector in the State. The rest of the cashew workers in Kerala are engaged in the private sector. KSCDC is committed to the modernisation of the cashew industry, brand building for the industry, and upgradation of cashew processing facilities in the State.

Lack of working capital, high raw material costs, high proportion of wages to total costs and severe competition both within India and internationally are among the major challenges faced by KSCDC.

Cashew Workers Apex Co-operative Society (CAPEX)

CAPEX with headquarters in Kollam is the apex body of cashew workers’ primary societies engaged in the procurement of raw cashew nuts and marketing of the processed Kernels. The main objective of the society is to organize cashew industry in the state on commercial basis, rendering assistance to affiliated societies, in the matter of procurement and distribution of raw-nuts, making available funds for processing and marketing of kernels and other items produced in the factories of the affiliated societies. CAPEX commenced its commercial activities in the middle of 1985. The Society owns 10 factories and one packing centre. Modern Cashew shell cutting machine, electric bormas, steam cookers, peeling machines have been installed for enhancing the efficiency of production. At present there are about 3600 workers working in the society. CAPEX could provide employment for 232 days in 2015-16. CAPEX has appointed 36 active franchisees all over Kerala and 6 franchisees outside Kerala to market CAPEX branded cashews. During 2015-16 CAPEX provided employment to 87,8120 persons and achieved a total turnover of 7372 lakh, which is 0.18 per cent less than .7385.74 lakh achieved in the previous year . During this period CAPEX was running a loss of 1537 lakh, which is 6.3 per cent greater than that of the previous year. The loss of 1445.95 lakh in 2014-15 was the highest rate of loss reported since 2008-09.

Modernization and partial mechanization of cashew factories of CAPEX,and Brand building and market awareness in India and International Market are the schemes implemented through CAPEX. A total of 1000 lakh has been provided during 2015-16 for implementing the above two schemes. Accordingly, an amount of 4 crores each was utilized for raw material purchase and for disbursement of Bonus. Around Rs. 200 lakh was utilised for advertisement and exhibitions for promoting sales. The performance of CAPEX during the last 5 years is given in Appendix 3.50.

Achievements and Future Strategies

CAPEX is functioning as a model employer in cashew industry by giving all the benefits as per the Government norms to poor cashew workers by providing maximum working days and preventing workers from exploitation by private managements. By giving employment, CAPEX has directly or indirectly contributed to the welfare of the society. CAPEX has upgraded its facilities enabling mechanization of process thereby maintaining a hygenic work environment. 10 factories and packing centres have been upgraded and modernized, and electric bormas and packing machines at packing centres have been installed. For promoting sales, advertisement and exhibitions were conducted. Due to its good performance, CAPEX could achieve “One star export house” status and ISO 22000 certification. For promoting its products in divergent markets, CAPEX has appointed 36 active franchisees all over Kerala and 6 franchisees outside Kerala. During the first four years of the 12th Five Year Plan, CAPEX has created 916 working days and during 2016-17, till date, the Society created 84 working days. The sale, export and turnover of CAPEX are given in Table 3.15.

Table 3.15
Achievements of CAPEX during 2012-13 to 2016-17, in lakh

Year Domestic Sales Export Sales Total Turnover
2012-2013 5309.39 1573.61 6883
2013-2014 4229.58 2117.42 6347
2014-2015 5944.52 1440.48 7385
2015-2016 5906.13 1465.87 7372
2016-2017 1752.20 1481.80 3234
Total 23141.82 8079.18 31221

Source: CAPEX, Kollam

CAPEX is facing shortage of working Capital and bank finance. It is functioning solely with the plan funds which often is not received in time. This slows down the timely procurement of cashew nuts during the season. Being a seasonal agricultural product, the raw nuts are to be procured during the season itself. It will be beneficial if good quality cashew raw nuts are available from national and international markets.

Kerala State Agency for the Expansion of Cashew Cultivation (KSACC)

Kerala State Agency for the Expansion of Cashew Cultivation (KSACC) was constituted by Government of Kerala in 2007 and is headquartered in Kollam. This agency was established with a view to overcome the crisis of declining domestic production of cashew nuts resulting from the large shortfall of area under cashew cultivation in the State. The vision of the agency is to increase the domestic annual raw nut production from 65000 MT to 1,50,000 MT in a phased manner through promotion of high yielding cashew grafts and a steady supply of raw cashew nuts to the industry in Kerala. Since 2008, KSACC has been organizing promotional activities in cashew cultivation and distributing cashew grafts of high yielding varieties and financial assistance to farmers and institutions in the State. The agency initiated the ‘Cultivation of Organic Cashew and Establishment of Raw Nut Bank’ project from 2007-08 onwards. The main objectives of the project are to enhance, production and productivity of cashew by adopting high technology, and high yielding grafts, achieve women empowerment through formation of SHGs for processing and value-addition, reduce the heavy dependence on import of raw cashew nuts, and create additional direct and indirect employment in cashew cultivation and processing. KSACC is the nodal agency for cashew cultivation activities in Kerala, and is approved by the National Horticulture Mission. The agency distributed 3, 02,286 grafts (1511 Ha approx.) to farmers under cultivation programme up to September 30, 2015.

Physical highlights of KSACC during 12th Five Year Plan

The major physical highlights of KSACC during the 12th Five Year Plan are; an area of 16525 ha was brought under cashew cultivation, distributed subsidy to farmers, promoted cashew cultivation in agricultural land of farmers, in land belonging to PSU’s factory and other institutions with the support of Grama Panchayths& Department of Agriculture, conducted research project activities with the help of Kerala Agricultural University (KAU), initiated a Pilot project for the production of Bio-Ethanol from cashew apple under the guidance of Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI), and took steps to prevent exploitation of cashew farmers by middle men through “KarshakaKootayma”. Further, steps have been taken for production of Value Added Products of cashew apple. Regional seminars, trainings for farmers in all the districts, awareness campaigns in panchayaths and publicity through press and audio visual media were conducted.

Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI)

The Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI, Govt. of India), a not-for-profit company, was established at Kollam, with the objective of promoting exports of cashew kernels and cashew nut shell liquid from India. The council operates plan schemes of Government of India, and offers various services to its member exporters. As per the export-import statistics, the share of agricultural products in the total export earnings of the country during 2015-16 is 6.84 per cent and cashew kernels was ranked 6th among them. The total export of Cashew Kernels from India during 2015-16 was 96,346 M.T valued at 4952.12 Cr. There has been a decrease of 19 per cent in quantity and 9 per cent in value in Rupee terms compared to 2014-15 when the export was 1,18,952 M.T of Cashew Kernels valued at 5432.85 (Source: Annual Report & Accounts, Cashew Export Promotion Council).The Export of Cashew & Foreign exchange earnings are given under External Trade in Chapter 6.

The council has set up a Laboratory and Technical Division of international standards which is recognised as an approved Research Centre for Doctoral research by Kannur University and University of Kerala. The service of CEPC Lab is available to cashew industry as well as entire food processing industry in India and abroad. The CEPC Laboratory & Technical Division, Kollam analysed 8431 samples during 2015-16.

Constraints of the Cashew Sector

The state needs around 6 lakhs MT of raw cashew in a year for its 800 factories. To overcome the problem of mismatch between demand and supply, state spends foreign exchange worth 5000 crore every year for importing the raw cashew nuts from foreign countries. If around 2 lakh Ha of land in state is brought under cultivation, foreign exchange can be saved. The sector can even earn foreign exchange worth 6000 crore to country’s exchequer by exporting cashew kernels. As rubber plantation is facing a crisis due to declining prices and high labour cost more people are now attracted to cashew cultivation as its cost of cultivation is low and yields high income. This is a great opportunity to promote this cultivation and also encouraging women SHG groups for the production of value added products from cashew apple.

Low productivity is the major constraint in the growth of the cashew sector. Wage rates, welfare, safety and healthy working environment of the workers needs to be addressed. Also problems such as supply-demand imbalance, costs involved in mechanization in the processing sector and environmental issues have to be tackled for the sustainable economic development of Cashew sector in the State.

Developmental Goals

In the light of escalating demand for cashew, serious attention is needed to identify the gaps and reorient research and development programmes in the area of Cashew cultivation in the State to meet the challenges of attaining self-sufficiency in raw cashew nut production. Emphasis should be on Employment Generation with reasonable wages, Research and development for the development of cashew production, processing and development of new value added products of cashew including hand crafted cashew, and steps for the utilization of cashew apple.