The Rubber Board has announced financial assistance to buy sprayers and dusters for use in small rubber holdings as a measure to increase productivity.

A press release from the board here on Thursday said the rubber producers' societies, companies under them and rubber self-help groups would get the money.

For buying a sprayer-cum-duster, Rs.30,500 would be given, for the sprayer alone, Rs.27,000 and the duster, Rs.6,300. These sums or half the cost would be paid, whichever was less. A company could get assistance for two machines and a society or group, one. The subsidy was available for machines manufactured by American Springs and Pressing Works and Ooppoottil Agencies and Estate Suppliers.

The release said crop loss on rubber estates, especially in small holdings, could be prevented by spraying of fungicides against phytophthora and powdery mildew using low-volume sprayers or dusters. Small growers found it difficult to buy the high-priced sprayers and dusters.

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