Kerala, the Southern Indian state which is the capital of rubber production in India, moots to have a factory in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode to manufacture value added products from rubber latex. Kerala accounts for 82 per cent of the country’s rubber production.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed that an expert committee be set up to study the prospects of setting up such a factory in the model of the country’s first public-private funded international airport – Cochin International Airport Limited. Chief Minister asked Chief Secretary K M Abraham to look into the issue, after presiding over a meeting of cabinet colleagues and high ranking officials.

Such a factory has been one of the long standing demands of the rubber farming community in Kerala.

Kerala has hundreds of rubber cooperative societies which collect the rubber latex from farmers and supply it to big rubber factories in the private sector. Vijayan has asked to examine if these cooperatives can be turned into the lines of the Amul model of cooperatives in Gujarat.

Rubber production has been hit by falling price, affecting the livelihoods of close to a million growers and their families in the state.