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RPSs should double as skill development centres: A. Ajith Kumar
Kottayam, 10 June 2016

A lot of skill development is required in the field of rubber harvesting and Rubber Producers’ Societies (RPS) should transform themselves as skill development centres to meet the requirements, said Mr. A. Ajithkumar I.A.S., Chairman, Rubber Board. He was inaugurating the promotional campaign of the Rubber Board to popularize weekly tapping, at Chirakkadavu Model RPS, Kanjirappally today.

Rubber sector is in acute shortage of rubber tappers. Presently the average age of a tapper is above 40. There is a need for youngsters in this field. More training programmes have to be arranged for them. Board would take the initiative for the training in association with Rubber Skill Development Council by using the platform of the RPSs, he added.

The Campaign with the theme Weekly tapping; With no yield drop is being conducted in the traditional rubber growing belt of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka from 10 June to 22 July 2016. About 900 meetings have been arranged and the Board expects to meet over 70,000 rubber growers during the campaign period. The campaign in the Northeastern states will start from the first week of July 2016.

The Chairman also released a documentary film on weekly tapping, prepared by the P&PR Division of the Board, in the function by giving a copy to Sri. Anoop Plakkatt, a rubber grower. He has also launched a Call Centre for attending to calls seeking technical advice on rubber cultivation, information about all services available from departments/divisions of the Board etc. The phone number of the call centre, to be operated form the Head Office of the Board, is 0481 – 2576622.

Mr. V. Mohanan, Joint Rubber Production Commissioner presided over the function. Dr. K.U.Thomas, Jt. Director, Rubber Research Institute of India presented the theme Weekly tapping; With no yield drop in the function.

Mr. C. Sabu (Jt. Rubber Production Commissioner), Mr. M.G. Sathees Chandran Nair (Dy. Director P&PR, Rubber Board), Mr. Michael Joseph (President, Chirakkadavu Rubber Producers’ Society), Mr. Binny Mathew Chockattu (President, Aimcombu Rubber Producers’ Society), Mr. George Thomas (Managing Director, Kanjirappally Rubbers), Mr. T.T.Joseph (President, Kadayinikadu Rubber Producers’ Society) and Mr.V.N. Krishnapillai (President, Kurumkanni Rubber Producers’ Society) spoke on the occasion. Mr. K.K. Mahadevan (Dy. Rubber Production Commissioner) welcomed the gathering and Mr. Shajimon Jose (Secretary, Chirakkadavu Rubber Producers’ Society) proposed a vote of thanks.

Adv. Thomas Pascal, Chamampathal Rubber Producers’ Society who has already adopted weekly tapping in his holding shared his experience. A discussion on the theme that followed was moderated by Mr. N. Sali, Development Officer, Rubber Board.

The Board is promoting weekly tapping as 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. 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 stimulant.

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