Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), the skill development programme for rubber tappers under Pradhan Mantri Kuashal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) being implemented by the Indian Rubber Board is yielding good results as reflected by the survey conducted by the Rubber Board. Improvement in the skills of the tapper as a result of the programme and its impact on yield were the focus of the survey.

The survey revealed that there is 33 per cent increase in the skills of tappers who were trained under the programme. The monthly yield in the holdings tapped by those who had undergone the training, has shown an increase of 16 per cent. Previous studies conducted by the Board have already established that yield from rubber could be increased by more than 30 per cent by adopting scientific tapping.

In the first phase of the project implemented in Kerala, ten thousand persons including rubber tappers and those involved in the processing of rubber were trained. In the second phase of the skill development programme, 22,000 persons will be trained under the job roles of Latex Harvest Technician (Tapper); Processing Technician- Rubber Sheeting; General Worker – Rubber Plantation and Rubber Nursery Worker in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and northeastern states.

One of the main reasons for yield decrease in the traditional rubber growing areas is unscientific tapping. The Rubber Board has initiated a massive skill development programme with an objective to increase production and profitability of rubber plantation sector. Through the programme, Board is aiming at certifying majority of tappers in India by 2020.

Rubber tappers and growers who do tapping in their own holdings and who are above 18 years of age can participate in the skill development programmes. Thirty tappers will be trained in a batch during a period of three days.