KERALA

India registers high latex yield

Boons of rubber: A view from the exhibition on natural rubber.

Boons of rubber: A view from the exhibition on natural rubber.   | Photo Credit: Photo:Vipin Chandran

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The Rubber Board seems to be jubilant. The reason: the area under natural rubber cultivation has increased to 6.15 lakh hectares in 2006-07 from 94,879 hectares in 1956-57. During this period, the production of natural rubber went up to 8.52 lakh tonnes from 24,000 tonnes. The productivity—now highest among the rubber producing nations—went up to 1,879 kg a hectare from 333 kg.

According to the Board, the area under cultivation went up by 6.5 times, productivity 5.5 times and rubber production 35 times. The Board decided to celebrate the success by organising a two-day international conference on natural rubber. The seminar that got underway in the city on Thursday, discussed the extension and development activities of the Rubber Board.

An exhibition that details the journey of Rubber Board from 1956-57 is also underway on the sidelines of the conference. It was in the year 1957 that the Board started helping the farmers through the Rubber Replanting Subsidy Scheme. Under the scheme, the rubber cultivators were given Rs.250-Rs.400 an acre inn seven annual instalments.

The Board’s focus shifted to new plantings from replanting in 1979. The growth of rubber plantations spurred, thanks to the overwhelming response from the farmers in 1980. This resulted in the extension of natural rubber cultivation to non-traditional areas, too.

Over the four years from 1980, a total of 53,244 hectares were brought under rubber cultivation.

Rubber Board chairman. Sajen Peter, said, “The schemes have succeeded through the participatory approach and transparent operations.”

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