it leaves Kerala’s villages,
the raw coir rope is taken to the state-run co÷perative plant
where it is dyed and woven into a variety of products.
doormats are familiar enough to people in the West, but coir in the
form of carpet and other products in vivid colors is
less well known. At the co÷perative processing plant it is
the Western Ghats, Kerala’s
mountain range, other products are grown which are more suited to the
higher elevations. Here at sea level, though, coconuts are everywhere
and employ a large fraction of the population in one way or another.
a limit of two hectares (or five acres) is imposed on land
ownership, a high percentage of the
population owns land. Combining the profits from coir and copra,
a few acres of coconuts can produce tens of thousands of dollars of
income and support a fair number of people. The result is a relatively
large middle class.