The Rubber Board is merging the administrative functioning of its Regional Office at Kottayam with that of Changanassery as a part of austerity measures. This will not by anyway affect the services rendered to rubber growers in Kottayam region. A ‘Development Office’ will start functioning at Board’s Head Office at Kottayam to take care of the services rendered to rubber growers of the region. The Development Office will start functioning simultaneously as and when the merging of the office comes in to effect. Growers of the Kottayam region can contact the Development Office for all services including uploading of bills related to Rubber Production Incentive Scheme (RPIS) of the state government.
In the present scenario where price of rubber is low, Board is implementing several activities aimed at reducing cost of cultivation and increasing production and productivity of rubber. With this purpose, the Board is promoting Controlled Upward Tapping, Quality up gradation, prompting intercropping, soil and leaf analysis based fertilizer application, soil conservation measures, online fertilizer recommendation etc. To address the shortage of skilled labours 10,000 rubber tappers were trained under rubber tapper skill development programme as part of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). In the second phase of the programme, 22,000 persons will be re skilled in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and north eastern states of Tripura and Assam. The Rubber Board proposes to start 50 tapper banks in the rubber sector. Rubber production has increased by 23 percent during 2016-17 as compared to the previous year because of similar measures adopted during the period.