New Site coming up at

Friday, October 13, 2006

Plea to promote cultivation of softwood

Match manufacturers have urged the State Government to promote cultivation of softwood trees and increase match wax production to help the match industry tide over the shortage of raw materials.

Speaking to The Hindu , J. Devadoss, joint secretary, South India Match Manufacturers Association, said the cultivation of matti trees, which yielded the most suitable softwood for making matchsticks, dwindled in Kerala over the last few years, sparking a raw material shortage.

The area planted with matti trees had come down after more farmers started growing rubber and teak, which fetched them more.

"The match industry in Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Virudhunagar districts, which produces 95 per cent of the match boxes in the State, is dependent on matti," he said.

The second quality matti tree (`B' matti) was grown at Pollachi, Erode, Karur, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri, but it was not adequate to meet the requirements.

Another softwood tree, `Poplar' , which could produce high quality matchsticks, was available in plenty in the northern States, but transport charges were prohibitive, he said.

"While a kilogram of matti costs Rs.12-Rs.15, the same quantity of Poplar could be fetched only at Rs. 32," manufacturers said, urging the Government to promote cultivation of the matti varieties in the Tamarabarani, Vaigai and Cauvery basins.

Match wax, the second important ingredient, was not produced in required quantity by the Chennai Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Davadoss said.

"The State Government should persuade the Centre to enhance the production of match wax at the CPC to help the match industry, which export 125 containers of match box, worth Rs. nine lakhs, through the Tuticorin port every month," he said.

Source: The Hindu

No comments: