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Rubber farming: Uplifting rural economy

(Left) Longleng farmer trying hand in transplantating rubber plants while a Wokha farmer demonstrates on planting rubber saplings.
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Published on 2 Aug. 2010 12:39 AM IST
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Natural rubber which was foreign to the Nagas has its origin in forest of Brazil on the side of the river Amazon has found its place in Nagaland and has now become a Naga bride. Blessed with fertile soil and with suitable climatic condition, Naga farmers are keenly taking up rubber farming in various capacities in different part of the district.
Viewing the feasibility and climatic condition of the district, the department of land resources development Longleng introduced Rubber in the district under IWMP initially with 50,000 rubber stamps covering 100 Ha, with an objective to uplift the rural economy of the people inhabited the district. And also help natural regeneration through rubber plantation in the district.
For the first time Longleng farmers took up rubber cultivation,it needed motivation and intensive training.
To impart first hand information and to train the farmers how to raise rubber stump from primary to secondary nursery, the department of land resources development Longleng had earlier conducted a training cum exposure trip for 25 progressive rubber farmers to rubber farm at Pongitong village under Wokha district from June 8 and 9 which was flagged off by DC Longleng C.K Nihekhu Sema.
The training cum exposure trip gave an opportunity to the farmers of Longleng to interact with the rubber growers of Wokha district in the field; they also had a session with DPO LRD Wokha who is also rubber expert in the field.
According to Longleng district project officer, Menuosietuo Tseikha, the trip was not only an eye opener to the farmers of the district but also gave adequate information of the management and more information on rubber tree, transplantation, budding, nursery management etc.
The crop if taken care properly will be harvested after 7 years which will continue till the plant attained 40 years old. It will not only give economic improvement of the villagers but contribute largely to the global climatic change, in the way of retaining ground water table and control soil erosion as well.
The team was also led to rubber plantation where intercropped was done with the upland Jhum paddy and pineapple fields. Intercropping helps the farmers to get additional benefit while doing weeding for other plants rubber plant can also be taken care.
Rubber which has maximum usage in automobile and other domestic industry has greater demand with every passing year.
Of all the 895 species natural rubber in which the latex is produced, Hervea brasiliensis is the most commercial natural rubber which was introduced to Asia in 1876 by Sir Henry Wickham. It spread to India through Sri Lanka and today India contributes 0.8 MT per annum to the international consumption, where Nagaland also contributes about 0.3% rubber latex of Indian production.
Nagaland which ranks 3rd in production amongst the North Eastern states in rubber latex production after Tripura and Assam may become the highest producer if the trend of cultivation goes on as it is today by the farmers of Nagaland.

 
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