Kerala

Rubber Board to promote self-tapping by growers

With a view to bring down the cost of production and make rubber farming commercially viable, the Rubber Board has embarked on a campaign to promote self tapping and low-frequency tapping (LFT) among the growers.

The programme, which seeks to cover 50,000 farmers, will be launched at a 100 field stations of the board across Kerala and Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday. Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar, and Chairman and Executive Director of Rubber Board K.N. Raghavan will address the farmers through the official Facebook page of the agency during the launch.

At each field station, a self-tapping grower will explain to the farmers the gains made by adopting LFT and self-tapping. It is expected that hearing from a peer who has successfully implemented the innovation will make farmers repose more faith in the process, explained the officials.

Huge cost incurred

Tapping charges, according to them, constitute the single largest component, accounting for almost 60%, of the total cost of production. “This high expenditure can be brought down by reducing the frequency of tapping and the grower doing the tapping himself. It has been scientifically proved by the board that once-a-week tapping would yield as much latex from the tree as tapping once in two days, besides improving its longevity,” said a senior board official.

200 trees in plantation

The average size of a plantation is 0.57 hectares, which would work out to approximately 200 trees in a plantation. Hence a grower who adopts LFT needs to do tapping and related activities only once in a week, allowing him to utilise the services of professional rubber tappers from rubber tappers’ banks more productively. This would help bring in more plantations under tapping and increase the overall production, the official added.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 12:18:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rubber-board-to-promote-self-tapping-by-growers/article32661737.ece

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