Rubber Board, India has said that the strategy to increase adoption of rain guarding by rubber growers in the country has yielded results. The harvesting operations in rubber in Kerala, capital of rubber in India, get hindered during rainy months resulting in steep fall in production. Confronted with a drastic reduction in production during the last few years, the Rubber Board took steps to ensure uninterrupted tapping during the monsoon period. The Rubber Board companies in Kerala procured rain guarding materials like polythene sheets and adhesive in bulk and distributed among small growers to promote rain guarding. As a result, nearly one lakh ha of plantations were rainguarded more than the previous year. In effect, NR production in July 2019 went up by 14,000 tonnes on a year-on-year basis. The production recorded in July was 60,000 tonnes while it was 46,000 tonnes in July 2018.

The Board is also popularizing techniques like low-frequency tapping (including once -a -week tapping) and controlled upward tapping to further improve production and bringing down the cost. The Board anticipates an annual production of 7.5 lakh tonnes this fiscal, a statement said.

Fall in production was one of the major concerns of the Indian rubber sector. This is mainly attributed to high percentage of untapped area, low adoption level of modern techniques like rain guarding and unscientific tapping methods. The present level of low price also has contributed to this. For addressing this issue of unharvested plantations, the Rubber Board has recently introduced a programme for adoption of such units in the smallholding sector. Societies and companies have so far successfully adopted 1600 ha plantations during the last few months, said the Board.

 

Assistant Director (Publicity)