Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Sunday, Nov 24, 2002
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Marketing - New Products & Services
Coir Institute rolls out readymade lawns
Sajeev Kumar V.
Cocolawn, a ready-to-use lawn developed by the Central Coir Research Institute, Kalavoor in the form of blankets.
KOCHI, Nov. 23
SCIENTISTS at the Central Coir Research Institute, Kalavoor in Alapuzha district, have developed Cocolawn, a ready-to-use lawn which can be rolled out and transported to different places.
The advantage of Cocolawn was that it could be used as an alternative to various applications, which include ground cover, roof cover, cycle and foot path and vegetation restoration in any denuded areas, Dr U.S. Sharma, Director of the Institute, said. It could also be used on sites where seeds were prone to be washed out, excessive deprivation (bird colonies) where seed application was impractical or where competitive weed growth posed a problem, he said.
The lawn is made from coir bhoovastra netting and coir pith which are mechanically bound together with grass. The principle involved adopts an eco-friendly method for faster development of readymade grass lawns, using 100 per cent natural coir products instead of synthetic products, which were costly and pose disposal problem, Dr Sharma said.
The invention also envisages a useful method of utilisation of coir pith, hitherto considered a problematic organic waste, which was available in an estimated quantity of one million tonnes collectively in the coir producing State, he added.
The application of the lawn was simple as the open weave of the supporting fabric ensured complete drainage of excess water and support the roots of the planted grass saplings, besides protecting the bare surface vulnerable to erosion by rain, run-off and wind.
It completely shelters the underlying bare surface from weather erosion while grass develops to provide long-term protection.
Cocolawn can be moulded easily to the contours and creates a micro-climate, which boosts plant development and fully decomposes once vegetation has been established.
Coir pith has been found to absorb as much as 800 per cent of moisture on its weight which supports the grass saplings during the drought season by providing adequate moisture which was released slowly creating the ideal micro-climate.
The institute has also made major achievements in its research programmes. Coirret, a bacterial cocktail developed for upgrading the quality of green husk fibre, has been popularised in the vycome yarn production centres.
A cost-effective Effluent Treatment Plant for treating effluents arising out of wet processing of coir has been developed and installed in one of the Common Facility Centre in Alapuzha, the Director said.
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