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News > ANRPC Annual Meetings & Rubber Conference Open Mr. KK Mittal IAS inaugurated 9th ANRPC Annual Rubber Conference >

ANRPC Annual Meetings & Rubber Conference Open Mr. KK Mittal IAS inaugurated 9th ANRPC Annual Rubber Conference
Global rubber body meet hosted by India under way in capital city.

Kottayam, 17 October 2016

Policy makers, experts and stakeholders from Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) and elsewhere have to seriously target at a paradigm shift in thinking, conceptualizing, formulating and implementing development strategies to sustain natural rubber (NR) sector, urged Mr. KK Mittal, IAS, Addl. Chief Secretary & Agricultural Production Commissioner, Govt. of Assam. He was inaugurating the ninth Annual Rubber Conference at Guwahati this morning. He said that there is a growing concern on climate change and its impact on crop production. Global warming, weather instability and occurrence of unusual and extreme weather events are the major physical dimensions of climate change. The landmark Kigali Pact agreed on two days before to reduce use of hydrofluorocarbons by 85% by 2045 substantiates the commitment of the global community to address the looming issue of global warming. Research in rubber plantation sector shall also focus on the impact of climate change on rubber cultivation and strategies to combat the possible adverse impact.

He also said that rubber product manufacturing sectors in India and abroad have not accorded due recognition for the environment-friendliness of NR while deciding on the raw material composition. Therefore, strategies to capitalise on the environment-friendliness of NR have to be explored vigorously, he pointed out.

He also stressed the need for earnest efforts to enhance NR consumption in producing countries in the coming years.

Following the inaugural speech, His Excellency San Vanty, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Royal Government of Cambodia made his statement as the Chairman of ANRPC.

Commodity sectors are highly vulnerable to economic cycles defined by macroeconomic trends, said Mr. Ajith Kumar, IAS Chairman, Rubber Board in his welcome address. The prolonged slump in demand and price of NR, currently being witnessed, can be attributed mainly to supply-demand imbalances emanating from production cycles typical to perennial crops; deceleration in industrial activities globally; and relatively low petroleum prices.

Global GDP growth projections for the current year and the next are lower at 3.1% and 3.4% respectively. Projections by international agencies generally indicate that low commodity prices would prevail for some more time before recovering.

Another aspect corollary to low commodity prices is the context of uncertainties in which commodity sectors have to formulate plans and strategies to sustain. Strategies to sustain NR sector shall assign due emphasis on the basic characteristics of the sector viz., predominance of small and marginal growers, declining size of holdings, extension of cultivation to non-traditional regions, presence of a synthetic substitute and concentration of consumption in transport sector, Mr. Ajith Kumar said.

He also pointed out that rubber cultivation is being extended to non-traditional regions in all major producing countries; in India to other Southern states and Northeast; in Malaysia to the Eastern states; in Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka to Northern and Northeast regions. Weather and other agroclimatic conditions in non-traditional regions vary significantly from traditional regions, necessitating location specific research and development activities, he said.

Mr. Ajith Kumar, released a new rubber clone, RRII 208, developed by Rubber Research Institute of India for cultivation in the Northeast, by handing over a seedling to Mr. Harish Chandra Ray, President, North Salmara Rubber Producers’ Society. This is the first time Rubber Board is releasing an Indian clone for exclusive cultivation in Northeast India.

In the first presentation of the Conference, Ms. Sheela Thomas, Secretary General, ANRPC, pointed out that price of natural rubber is not determined by demand and supply alone, but is strongly influenced by the general trend in commodity market, crude oil prices and exchange rate of currencies of major NR-exporting countries. Owing to this, NR prices need not always reflect the imbalance between demand and supply. Though there may be a small surplus in the market for the next few years, supply will be short of demand from 2020 onwards, she said.

It is the ninth edition of the Annual Rubber Conference that is being held this year. The first one was in Bangkok in 2008. India hosted several ANRPC events in the past but this is the first time such an event is hosted in the Northeast. Northeast currently accounts for more than one fifth of the rubber planted area in the country and has vast potential to expand rubber cultivation.

The theme of the ANRPC Conference this year was “Preparing for the Paradigm Shift”.

The other speakers in the Rubber Conference included Dr. Tirthankar Patnaik (India Strategist, Asian Financial Solutions Dept, Mizuho Bank Ltd, Japan), Datuk Dr. Abdul Aziz SA Kadir (Secretary General, International Rubber Research & Development Board), Datuk Dr. Salmiah Ahmad (Chief Executive Officer, International Tripartite Rubber Consortium), Dr. Eric Gohet (Director of Research Unit, CIRAD, France), Mr. Luciano C. Della Nina (President, Natural Rubber Industry Chamber, Sao Paulo, Brazil), Prof. Dr. Chen Qiubo (Former Professor & Vice President, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Science), Dr. James Jacob (Director, Rubber Research Institute of India), Dr. Napawan Lekawipat (Director, Rubber Technology Group, Rubber Research Institute of Thailand), Dr. Tran Thi Thuy Hoa (Former Secretary General, Vietnam Rubber Association) and Dr. Lekshmi Nair (Head of Economics & Statistics, International Rubber Study Group, Singapore).

ANRPC is an intergovernmental organization established in 1970 and has at present 11 member countries viz. Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. These 11 countries together account for around 90% of world NR production and 65% of world NR consumption. The Association has been an effective forum for facilitating exchange of information, consolidation of statistics, networking and coordinated initiatives on issues confronting the NR sector.

The Session of the Assembly and meeting of Executive Committee of ANRPC are held usually once a year. Annual Rubber Conference and meetings of technical committees are also held along with this. ANRPC annual meetings are hosted by one of the member countries. India is hosting the Assembly and Annual Meetings in 2016. An Organizing Committee headed by Mr. A. Ajith Kumar, Chairman, Rubber Board is coordinating the arrangements.

The 39th Session of the ANRPC Assembly and meetings of Executive Committee and technical committees will be held from 18 to 21 October 2016.

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