Best Business Opportunities in Kerala - Identification and Selection of right Project, Thrust areas for Investment, Industry Startup and Entrepreneurship
Minerals: Project Opportunities in Kerala
India has a large no. Of economically useful minerals and they constitute on quarter of the worlds known mineral resources. India is endowed with significant mineral resources. India produces 89 minerals out of which 4 are fuel minerals, 11 metallic, 52 non-metallic and 22 minor minerals. Ministry of Mines is responsible for survey and exploration of all minerals, other than natural gases, petroleum and atomic minerals, for mining and metallurgy of non-ferrous metals like aluminium, copper, zinc, lead, gold, nickel, etc. and for administration of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957 in respect of all mines and minerals other than coal, natural gas and petroleum.
Kerala is also a rich repository of several minerals and fine grained soil. Sillimanite, Ilmenite, Monazite abounds in this state. Fire clay, Silica, Ball clay and China clay, granite and graphite also occurs in large quantities in different parts of Kerala, paving the path for a flourishing industry. The mineral resources of a state are its greatest asset. The minerals not only earn the state revenue and foreign currency by export to other states and other countries respectively, they also form the raw material for the industries based on them. Kerala is a mineral rich state. The soil is loaded with a variety of inorganic minerals like Kaolin, Bauxite, Monozite, Zircon, Quartz and Silimanite. The golden sands of Quilon beach are rich in the heavier variety minerals such as Monozite, Ilmenite, Rutile, Zircon and Silimanite.
· As far as mineral sand is concerned, the Government will stick to the policy declared in the industrial policy 2007 that the mining and extraction will be permitted only through State/Central Public Sector Undertakings (PSU’s).
· While granting mining leases value addition will be insisted by promoting processing units and mineral based industries in the State.
· Entrepreneurs promoting development of human resources and employment guarantee programme will be given priority.
· Mining leases will be granted to those applicants who have long term programme concept and provide more employment opportunities. For e.g., minerals like iron ore. Priority will be given to those who install processing / beneficiation unit
· Adjoining minor mineral leases of smaller areas granted under KMMC Rules, 1967 will be amalgamated into a single lease. Non working quarries/mines will be identified and effort will be made to ensure the mining leases are not kept idle.
· Productivity of mines will be insisted while leasing the mine and reviewed periodically.
Agriculture: Project Opportunities in Kerala
India has an agriculture-based economy. 43% of India’s territory remains employed in agricultural activities. Globalization and agriculture in India are both intricately connected to each other as agriculture in India prevails over all other sectors because it plays a pivotal role in the socio-cultural life of its people. At present, in terms of agricultural production, the country holds the second position all over the world. In 2007, agriculture and other associated industries such as lumbering and forestry represented around 16.6% of the Gross Domestic Product of the country. In addition, the sector recruited about 52% of the entire manpower. India is among the world’s leading producers of paddy rice, wheat, buffalo milk, cow milk and sugar cane. It is either the world leader or the second largest producer in eight out of its top ten products.
A unique feature of the State is the predominance of cash crops. About 50 per cent of the population depends on agriculture. Kerala is a major producer of coconut, rubber, pepper, cardamom, ginger, banana, cocoa, cashew, aracanut, coffee and tea. Spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, etc. are also cultivated. Rice and Tapioca are the important food crops. On a national scale, 92 % of the rubber, 70 % of coconut, 60 % of tapioca and almost 100 % of lemon grass oil is produced from the State. Kerala’s agriculture has the distinction of having the highest gross income per net cropped area. For instance, coconut occupies 41 per cent of net cropped area and provides livelihood to over 3.5 million families. While, the four plantation crops of rubber, coffee, tea and cardamom accounts for 29 per cent of the net cropped area in the State and 42 per cent of the area in the country.
Indian agriculture policy is aimed essentially at improving food self sufficiency and alleviating hunger through food distribution. Aside from investing in agricultural infrastructure, the government supports agriculture through measures including minimum support prices (MSP) for the major agricultural crops, farm input subsidies and preferential credit schemes. In India, agricultural trade policy is a part of a larger food and agriculture policy regime that seeks to maintain food self-sufficiency while providing income support to the agricultural sector and poor consumers. The salient features of the new agricultural policy are:
· Over 4 per cent annual growth rate aimed over next two decades.
· Greater private sector participation through contract farming.
· Price protection for farmers.
· National agricultural insurance scheme to be launched.
· Dismantling of restrictions on movement of agricultural commodities throughout the country.
· Rational utilisation of country's water resources for optimum use of irrigation potential.
· High priority to development of animal husbandry, poultry, dairy and aquaculture.
· Capital inflow and assured markets for crop production.
· Exemption from payment of capital gains tax on compulsory acquisition of agricultural land.
· Minimise fluctuations in commodity prices.
· Continuous monitoring of international prices.
· Plant varieties to be protected through a legislation.
· Adequate and timely supply of quality inputs to farmers.
· High priority to rural electrification.
· Setting up of agro-processing units and creation of off-farm employment in rural
Biotechnology: Project Opportunities in Kerala
The Biotechnology sector in India is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Indian Economy. As the sector is mainly based on knowledge, it is expected that it will play an important part in shaping the Indian Economy, which is developing at a rapid pace. The Indian Biotechnology sector holds immense potential in terms of research and development, skill and cost effectiveness. The importance of Biotechnology for India is manifold. In addition to generating trained manpower and a knowledge base, India is proving to be an ideal setting for manufacturing activities and high-level biotechnology research programmes. It can bring revolutionary changes in people's lives and provide the path way to the unexplored secrets of nature.
Kerala’s rich bio-diversity and the availability of skilled labour make it one of the most prospective locations for Biotechnology. Its advantages include being one of the most health conscious states with high literacy, and a rich exposure to traditional medicines and healing. Additionally, the presence of established research institutions like Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Biotechnology, Indian Institute for Spices Research, Kerala Agricultural University, etc ensures adequately trained human resources required in Biotechnology. Since the Biotech industry in India is still in a nascent stage, especially in Kerala, an appropriate support and guidance from the state government would be essential to encourage entrepreneurship and industrial growth in this segment.
Government of Kerala announced its Biotechnology Policy in 2003. To achieve the vision in Biotechnology, to ensure hazzle-free implementation and to provide sustained leadership and resources, two major initiatives, Kerala Biotechnology Board and Kerala Biotechnology Commission were made in 2003. The BT policy for Kerala is designed to catalyze the development and application of BT, taking advantage of the State’s resources and emphasizing its specific needs while meeting global requirements. The policy is aimed to ensure the rapid exploitation of pipeline technologies and opportunities available in the State to products and processes and to promote the sustained build-up of an elite knowledge cadre and knowledge base through the strengthening and creation of educational and R&D institutions, establishing infrastructure and putting in place administrative, regulatory, legal and financial framework conducive for investment and growth of BT enterprises, for the economic development and human welfare.
Rubber Industry: Project Opportunities in Kerala
The world production of rubber was considered to be very unstable during the last few years. Comparatively, India's production of rubber is consistent at the rate of 6% per annum. The Rubber industry in India has been growing in strength and importance. This is the result of India's burgeoning role in the global economy. India is the world's largest producers and third largest consumer of natural rubber. Moreover, India is also one of the fastest growing economies globally. These factors along with high growth of automobile production and the presence of large and medium industries has led to the growth of rubber industry in India.
Kerala contributes 90% of India’s total production of natural rubber. Also, Kerala and Tamil Nadu together occupy 86% of the growing area of natural rubber. The rubber industry occupies about 3.84 lakh hectares and boasts of a turnover of 3.70 lakh tonnes that amounts to about ninety percent of the country’s total rubber production. The Kerala State Cooperative Rubber Marketing Federation Ltd., popularly known as RubberMark was incorporated in 1971, as an apex institution of the primary Rubber Marketing Cooperatives in Kerala, INDIA. Most of the rubber production is consumed by the tyre industry which is almost 52% of the total production of India. Among the states, Kerala is the leading consumer of rubber, followed by Punjab and Maharashtra.
· No state involvement in price control
· Rubber prices respond to global prices
· Government’s contribution in rubber research and development
· Duties and levies contributing for financing of replanting and welfare of smallholders
· Currency issues
· Government involvement in labour supply
· Environmental regulations
Tourism: Project Opportunities in Kerala
Tourism has become an important industry in many countries of the world, both in the east and the west. Various initiatives are being taken by the Government and other organizationsto promote tourism here.Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The number of tourists worldwide has been registering phenomenal growth and it is expected that this number would shortly touch 1.5 billion. Tourism contributes about 11% of the world work force and 10.2% of the global gross domestic products. The dynamic growth of this industry is evident from the fact that a new job is added to this sector every 2.5 second.
Kerala is a state on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India. Nicknamed as one of the "10 paradises of the world" by National Geographic, Kerala is famous especially for its eco-tourism initiatives. Its unique culture and traditions, coupled with its varied demography, has made it one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Beaches, warm weather, back waters, hill stations, waterfalls, wild life, Ayurveda, year–round festivals and diverse flora and fauna make Kerala a unique destination for tourists. Kerala offers a host of exciting holiday options. The factors stimulating a flourishing tourism sector include scenic splendour, moderate climate, clean environment, friendly and peace loving people with high tolerance for cultural diversity as well as the potential for creating unique tourism products. Some of the important places of tourist interest are:- Thiruvananthapuram; Kollam; Pathanamthitta; Alappuzha; Kottayam; Idukki; Ernakulam; Thrissur; Palakkad; Malappuram; Kozhikode; Wayanad; Kannur and Kasaragod. In kerala, Thenmala is the major project undertaken under eco- tourism. Thenmala Eco-Tourism project features a tourist facilitation centre, shop court garden, plazas, picnic area, natural trail, rock climbing, river crossing amphitheatre, restaurant, suspension bridge, lotus pond, musical dancing fountain, sculpture garden, deer rehabilitation centre, boating, battery powered vehicles, etc.
Every Tourism Development Plan shall contain the following elements which are necessary for the integrated sustainable development of the area with major thrust on tourism development, namely:-
(i) Policy in relation to the land use plan and allocation of land for tourism purposes;
(ii) Policy in relation to the built up area, environment including architectural control and form;
(iii) Strategies towards conserving and strengthening existing natural systems and enhancing the visual qualities of the region; and
(iv) Regulations, if any, found necessary for the implementation of the Tourism Development Plan.
Bamboo: Project Opportunities in Kerala
Bamboos are some of the quickest growing plants in the world, as some species have been recorded as growing up to 100 cm (39 in) within a 24 hour period due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, South East Asia and East Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, and as a versatile raw product. Bamboo is used in Chinese medicine for treating infections and healing. It is a low-calorie source of potassium. It is known for its sweet taste and as a good source of nutrients and protein. Bamboo has been a primary raw material for manufacturing a variety of article. Primary coming under the cottage and small scale industry, bamboo work plays a vital role in the development of the state economy.
Twenty-two species of bamboo and two varieties belonging to six genera are recorded as native of Kerala. The majority of bamboos in Kerala are found at an elevation of 50-1500 m above sea level. The species belonging to the genera such as Ochlandra, Bambusa and Dendrocalamus are seen extensively growing in large forest areas as bamboo brakes and reed brakes. The species like Bambusa bambos and Dendrocalamus strictus are adapted to the dry plains and hilly tracts. Their distribution is abundant in the most deciduous forests. Bambusa bambos is generally found at an elevation between 50m – 1000 m and distributed throughout Kerala. Dendrocalamus strictus is distributed in the forests of Attappady, Nilambur, and Chinnar at an altitude of 150-750 m above sea level.
Draft Kerala Bamboo Policy: This policy focuses on sustainable development of bamboo sector in Kerala with the active participation of stakeholders. The major pillars of this policy are sustainable management of existing bamboo resources in forest areas, plantations and in the homesteads, resource enhancement both in the forests and homesteads with the participation of stakeholders, better distribution of bamboo resources to the user groups and setting up bamboo-based industries. The policy suggests establishment of appropriate institutions, scientific management and marketing, linkage between production and utilization, industrial development, proper pricing, preferential treatment of bamboos in the forests and homesteads, formulation and implementation of grower friendly rules and regulations on growing, harvesting, transporting and marketing and appropriate publicity, research and extension.
Waste management: Project Opportunities in Kerala
Waste utilization, recycling and reuse plays a major role in limiting resource consumption and the environmental impact of waste. Recycling is an integral part of any waste management system as it represents a key utilization alternative to reuse and energy recovery (Waste-to-Energy). Which option is ultimately chosen depends on the quality, purity and the market situation. Hazardous waste management is a new concept for most of the Asian countries including India. The lack of technical and financial resources and the regulatory control for the management of hazardous wastes in the past had led to the unscientific disposal of hazardous wastes in India, which posed serious risks to human, animal and plant life.
The Greater Kochi Area (GKA) ranks 24 (with CEPI score of 75.08) amongst the critically polluted areas (CPA) in the country. The State Pollution Control Board was instructed by the CPCB to evolve a time bound action plan for improving the environmental quality in the CPA. It was stated that external resource persons/institutions identified by CPCB/MoEF would be made available for this purpose. Such external guidance is still anticipitated. Meanwhile the Kerala Board, in consultation with the stakeholders in GKA, has chalked out an action plan for Greater Kochi Area. The main pollution sources of concern are industries, municipal solid waste, biomedical waste, E-waste and domestic waste. The action plan hence includes mainly proposals for up gradation of existing pollution control facilities in the critically polluted area, common facilities such as CETPs, CTSDF, STPs, common biomedical waste management facility, municipal solid waste management, e-waste management and sewage management.
National policy on waste management is set out in the October 1998 policy statement on waste management - Changing our Ways. It outlines the Government's policy objectives in relation to waste management, and suggests some key issues and considerations that must be addressed to achieve these objectives. The policy is firmly grounded in an internationally recognised hierarchy of options, namely prevention, minimisation, reuse/recycling, and the environmentally sustainable disposal of waste which cannot be prevented or recovered.
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