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RB plans to boost rubber cultivation in northeast
Published on 14 Nov. 2009 11:19 PM IST
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The Rubber Board (RB) has decided to scale up rubber production area in the Northeastern states in the next fiscal along with the development of infrastructure, including skilled manpower. Addressing media after attending 161st board meeting of RB here today, Board Chairman Sajen Peter said they had planned to increase the plantation area up to 40 per cent in next 10 years and the matter was taken up with the Development of Northeastern Region Ministry (DoNER). He observed that India had become top producer of rubber since 2006 and stands third in consumption of tyres after China and the US. However, import of tyres from China continued to be a major concern for Indian natural rubber, reported UNI. ‘’The production of the natural rubber in India during April-October 2009 was 9.4 per cent lower compared to that of the corresponding period last year,’’ Peter said. “Our projection of production of natural rubber would be upwards to 9,31,000 tonnes, which was declined 7.4 per cent during first half of 2009,’’ he attributed. Referring to the report of Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) he said, as many as 4.5 lakh hectares of land were identified as suitable for rubber cultivation in the Northeast but so far only 20 per cent of the total potential area had been brought under cultivation. Peter pointed out that RB would go for massive campaign in rubber growing areas of the region and to promote activities like bee keeping and intercropping in plantation to generate the additional income. According to report, about 42 per cent area of Tripura has been already brought under rubber cultivation followed by Manipur 19.1 per cent, Nagaland 18 per cent, Meghalaya 13.7 per cent, Assam 9.1 per cent and Mizoram 1.1 per cent. In order to increase the production of natural rubber, RB has developed separate clone matching agro-climatic condition of Northeast, the report added. Peter also underlined that the reasons for formulation the exclusive schemes for the Northeast, non-traditional region for rubber cultivation considering the poor infrastructure, illiteracy and backwardness that insist RB to implement specific programme to promote new plantation and replanting of rubber on a large scale with a focus on promoting group approach in all firm management practices and processing operations. Mentioning the future prospect of natural rubber Mr Peter stated that India imported 4.08 lakh truck and bus tyres and 12.11 lakh car tyres besides, substantial import of natural rubber during April- October this year. Moreover, because of ruling price in domestic market, India imported 1,26,472 tonnes natural rubbers and exported on 2639 tonnes.

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