According to the Rubber Board of India, timely rain-guarding has increased natural rubber output in India by 14,000 tonnes in July 2019, on an year-on-year basis. The production recorded in July was 60,000 tonne, while it was 46,000 tonne in July 2018.
“Confronted with a drastic reduction in production during the last few years, the Rubber Board companies procured rain-guard materials like polythene sheets and adhesive in bulk and distributed among small growers. As a result, nearly one lakh hactare of plantations were rain-guarded, more than the previous year. This is what was reflected in the increased production in July,” says a Board release.
The Board is also popularising 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 natural rubber this fiscal.
Fall in production last year 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 has also contributed to this. For addressing this issue of unharvested plantations, the Rubber Board has recently introduced a programme, by which Board in association with its own companies and Rubber Producers’ Societies would adopt such untapped holdings of small holding farmers and arrange for the maintenance, tapping, processing and marketing of produce.
Rubber societies and companies, primarily in the state of Kerala, have so far adopted 1,600 hectare plantations during the last few months. This arrangement has trimmed cost of production and bettered the quantity and quality of the rubber produced, says the Rubber Board, in its release.