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Rubber Board eyes mn-tonne output next year on stronger input supply-chain

April output up 23% y-o-y, Board to bring untapped areas into cultivation in bid to surpass targets

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

Rubber Board see a million tons production next year

The has said that rubber production in the country continues to increase. (NR) output in April 2017 was up by as much as 23.1 per cent, at 48,000 tonnes, over the production in the same month a year ago (39,000 tonnes).

"If this trend continues, production of NR during the fiscal will reach the anticipated 800,000 tonnes this year, and one million tonnes next year," said A Ajith Kumar, chairman, Current annual demand for the commodity in the domestic market is about 1.1 million tonnes.

The Board focused on the key issue of streamlining the farm input supply chain and making sure the inputs reach farmers on time. The Board has started this year's distribution of inputs at subsidised rates, through Rubber Producers' Societies (RPSs). This year, rain-guarding material and spraying material are being supplied to the RPSs, through Board-owned companies.

The Board also focussed on bringing more untapped areas into production (last year, production area rose by eight per cent). Kumar said about 10,000 tappers were trained last year as part of an initiative to improve both quality and production. The move has helped to improve productivity by nearly 25 per cent, he claimed.

Kumar said all these measures have pushed overall production to 690,000 tonnes as against Board's target of 654,000 tonnes. "With this run rate (growth) we could achieve 800,000 tonnes this year and a million tonnes next year," said Kumar.

He added that the Board is continuing efforts to make rubber cultivation remunerative by increasing production and productivity and reducing cost of cultivation and production.

The Board has been implementing several activities at regional and field levels, with the active cooperation of RPSs, to increase production and productivity of plantations. On a pilot basis the Board is introducing crop insurance scheme in two districts of Kerala.