The Rubber Board informed that there is a shift in the decreasing trend in rubber production in the country and the production of natural rubber (NR) during the first quarter of the fiscal has shown an increase of 2.3 percent on a year on year basis. If the trend continues, production of NR during the fiscal will reach the anticipated 6.54 lakh tonne. The stability in price also gives a positive signal.
The Rubber Board has taken several steps to improve production and productivity of NR in the country, in recent times. The Board convened zonal meetings in different locations for interaction among the rubber growers, representatives of Rubber Producers Societies (RPSs) and extension officers of the Board. Specific targets were given at regional office level and field office level to improve production and productivity. Activities at field level were coordinated and practical solutions suitable for different locations were identified and implemented in the field. The Board has initiated steps to harvest the untapped areas with the help of RPSs and Companies jointly promoted by these societies and the Board.
The Board has conducted a mass contact programme in the traditional rubber belt to popularize low frequency tapping (LFT) as a cost reduction measure to improve profitability of rubber. The Board has directly contacted about half a lakh farmers through the programme and 5000 growers have come forward to adopt weekly tapping. Apart from this, separate campaign programmes were also conducted in the nontraditional areas for improving productivity. A separate scheme for starting ‘Tapper Bank’ through RPSs has also been initiated. Board also proposes to conduct skill upgradation programmes for 27000 tappers in the country, with the active cooperation of Rubber Skill Development Council.