The Rubber Board has signed an MoU with DY Patil Agriculture and Technical University, Kohlapur, to explore the feasibility of cultivating rubber in Maharashtra’s Kohlapur region.

K.N. Raghavan, Executive Director, Rubber Board and Sanjay D Patil (Chancellor of DY Patil Agriculture and Technical University & President of DYP Group of Institutions) signed the MoU. As per the MoU, the University will establish a rubber plantation in a one-hectare area with technical support from the Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII). The performance of the trees will be monitored jointly by the University and RRII.

Raghavan also inaugurated the planting of rubber saplings in the experimental plot.

India is the second-largest consumer of natural rubber globally, consuming around 1.2 million tonnes annually and is expected to increase over the years. About 40 per cent of the consumption is met by imports. With the widening gap between consumption and domestic production, self-sufficiency will be the main focus of development plans.

Natural rubber is a critical industrial raw material with substantial strategic significance from the national point of view. NR finds application in the manufacturing of about 40,000 products. The steady rise in natural rubber consumption, especially from the tyre manufacturers has created a big gap between production and its consumption. During 2021-22, the deficit was bridged by imporing NR valued at ₹7,500 crore.

The Rubber Board proposes to increase the area under natural rubber to raise the output. The National Rubber Policy 2019 announced by the Government envisages meeting at least 75 per cent of the domestic requirement by 2030, considering the strategic and national importance of this critical raw material.

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