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International co-operation among producers essential for addressing NR price volatility: Dr. Salmiah Ahmad
Kochi, 5 March 2015

Collaboration and co-operation of natural rubber (NR) producing countries at an international level is essential to address price volatility, said Dr. Salmiah Ahmad, Director-General, Malaysian Rubber Board. She was giving a talk on the subject ‘Addressing NR price volatility’ as part of the second day deliberations of India Rubber Meet 2015. International platforms like Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) should be strengthened to address such issues, she added. She put forth short, medium and long term strategies to overcome the challenges of price fluctuation. She also proposed a ‘Novel pricing mechanism’ to support the small growers.

The second talk of the day was by Dr. Stuart Cook (Director of Research, Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre, U.K.) on the subject ‘Natural rubber – material for the future’. He said that future requirements would be for sustainable raw materials. Ecologically sustainable high quality products from renewable resources at affordable prices could only survive. Targeted use of genetics would improve efficiency of breeding programmes and help to improve productivity, disease resistance, quality of NR and emergence of ‘high value’ bye products, he added.

The next deliberation was on the subject ‘Current status and outlook on Indian economy’ by Mr. Shashank Tripathi, Executive Director, Pricewaterhouse Coopers India. India needed new economic solutions in all fields like agriculture, industry etc. said Mr. Tripathi. The economic prospects of India being bright, all sectors including entrepreneurs should play key roles to play in this winning leap which should be enabled and encouraged by Governments and Corporates, he added.

The talks were followed by a panel discussion on the theme ‘Finite resources: infinite opportunities’, chaired by Dr. A.K. Krishnakumar (Executive Director, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services, New Delhi). The theme was handled from an Indian perspective. The panelists were Mr. Rajiv Budhraja, (Director General, Automotive Tyre Manufaturer’s Association , New Delhi), Mr. K.T. Thomas (Former President, All India Rubber Industries Association & Managing Director, Paragon Rubbers, Bengaluru), Mr. Virendra Rathod, (Reliance Industries Ltd., Mumbai), Mr. Rajendra V. Gandhi (GRP Ltd., Mumbai), Mr. C. Vinayaraghavan (Chairman, Association of Planters of Kerala & President, Rubber Division, Harrisons Malayalam Ltd., Kochi) and Adv. Siby J. Monippally(Secretary, Indian Rubber Grower’s Association, Kochi ). The panel discussed the short and long term measures to be undertaken to address the present crisis at every link of the supply chain of rubber, so that all stakeholders are at a win-win situation and the consumers’ demands of quality and cost are met.

In the concluding session Mr. Vinod T Simon, Vice Chairman, IRM 2015 proposed a vote of thanks. Dr. A. Jayathilak, Chairman, IRM 2015 declared that IRM 2016 would be held in Goa early next year.

Dr. C. Kuruvilla Jacob, Member Secretary, Publicity Committee, IRM 2014

1. Dr. Salmiah Ahmad (Director-General, Malaysian Rubber Board) addressing the gathering.
2. A view of the panel discussion held on the second day of India Rubber Meet 2015 at Kochi.

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