Guwahati : Farmers in the North East are taking to natural rubber cultivation in a big way. The seven states of the region, with 26 % of the total rubber plantations in the country, together produce 65,708 tonne of rubber. Tripura will soon be having its own Rubber clone — Rubber Research Institute of India 429 (RRII429) that will lead to increased per area production.
This was announced by the Rubber Board Executive Director Dr. KN Raghavan, said reports. As per his information, a huge number of steps were taken to expand the Rs 900 crore industry in the state. This would not only develop the industry but also generate employment. As Tripura stands as the second-largest producer of rubber in the country, it took little longer as in general, cloning takes about 20 years.
The board is also planning to name the latex collectors as latex harvest technicians instead of tappers in order to wield confidence. The board is also emphasizing on developing a soil mapping database through which it can easily map the soil and can ascertain the texture of the soil.
Initiatives like training tappers, generating more and more awareness programmes and making people aware of the ups and downs of industry have been taken up. The state government is also taking up steps like providing industrial loans by making clusters.
The Executive Director also mentioned that there are ample possibilities of small scale and priority-based industries like gloves and condoms which are a product of rubber. Moreover, for better production we have also developed a soil mapping database.
Through this database—RubSIS (Rubber Soil Information System) the Rubber Board can easily map the soil and can ascertain the texture of soil and develop fitting clones as per area specifics. Replying to a question regarding low perhectare production, there are several problems from tappers to processing units that has emerged as biggest impediments in achieving good per area production.
But, as per now initiatives like training tappers, generating more and more awareness programmes and making people aware of the ups and down of industry, we hope soon those problems will be sorted out.
“The state government’s new steps to empower growers with industrial loans by making clusters and SHFs will also improve the situation as many small scale growers face cash crunch in the initial years of plantation” he observed.
He also suggested to switch over to multi-cropping system such as Tea, Coffee and Pine-apples which is a state food now to get rid of the initial crisis period they face till their plantation meets maturity. On the industrial aspects, he said, there is ample possibilities small scale and priority based industries such as gloves and condoms. There is already a gloves industry in the Bodhjungnagar but is in serious conditions.
The Rubber Board has sent a technical team to revive the unit so that good quality of gloves can be produced here and sold in all over the North East. Condom is another product that can be easily produced here but it requires some technical feasibilities.
Once people get well skilled as to how to process such units, there are plenty of scopes, he concluded. He also suggested of forming agovernment level chain to start a Tyre unit engaging state transport department to procure state owned products in the first phase which can later turn into a big industrial set-up.
-- APN News
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