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Rubber production expected to reach the anticipated level
Kottayam, 21 February 2017
The increasing trend in rubber production in the country continues and the production of natural rubber (NR) during the month of January 2017 shows an increase of 26.93 per cent as compared to the production during the same period last year. Production during January 2017 is 66,000 tonnes whereas it was 52,000 tonnes in January 2016. Increase in production during the period April 2016 - January 2017 as compared to the same period last year is 14.84 per cent. Total production in the current fiscal up to January 2017 is 5,65,000 tonnes whereas it was 4,92,000 tonnes during the same period last year. If this trend continues, production of NR during the fiscal is expected to reach the anticipated 6.54 lakh tonne. Export of NR from the country has also increased owing to prevailing relatively higher international market price. Export of NR up to 20 February 2017 is 12,000 tonnes.
The steady increase in production of NR can be attributed to improved market price and initiatives taken by the Board at field level, including mass contact programmes to improve production and productivity. In the first phase of “Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)” training programme under PMKVY, about 10,000 persons were trained in rubber tapping and processing. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has already approved the second phase for training another 22,000 persons in rubber tapping and processing in Kerala, Tripura and Assam.
Board also proposes to conduct a study in Kerala on the impact of the RPL training programmes already conducted. The study is aimed to understand the improvement in quality of tapping and its direct impact in increase of productivity.