In the wake of the prevailing low price of rubber, the Rubber Board advises the growers to adopt weekly tapping, whereby cost of production can be reduced substantially. In rubber holdings, a major share of expenditure is for tapping, and there is a shortage for tappers also. The Rubber Board is presently recommending once in three days tapping for the popular high yielding clones. If a higher frequency tapping is adopted in these clones, there is a chance for trees getting affected by dryness. Even then, majority of rubber growers are resorting to alternate day tapping, against Boardís recommendations.
Now, the Rubber Board is promoting weekly tapping, by which the tapping cost can be reduced by two thirds compared to tapping on alternate days.
Weekly tapping, to an extent, is a solution for labour shortage also. A tapper who can tap two blocks in alternate day system can cover seven blocks in weekly tapping.
While adopting once a week tapping, it is necessary to apply an yield stimulant. Ethephon, a comparatively safe plant growth regulator, is used as the yield stimulant, at 2.5 per cent dilution. In such a low frequency tapping system with chemical stimulation, it is possible to realize an yield equal to or slightly higher than that in alternate day tapping.
Today rubber prices are mainly controlled by various factors in the international market, over which farmers have no control. But farmers can adopt several scientific practices in their holdings to reduce cost of production and increase productivity. In order to sensitize the farmers in these aspects, the Rubber Board is planning to conduct a promotional campaign all through the rubber growing areas starting from the first week of June 2016. The Board, with the help of Rubber Producersí Societies will be holding nearly a thousand meetings through which the message will be delivered to one lakh growers. The Board requests all the growers and Rubber Producersí Societies to cooperate with this programme.