Agri Business

Dealers cheer ATMA’s ₹1,100-cr package to boost rubber farming in N-E

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on January 07, 2021 Published on January 07, 2021

A farm worker engaged in rubber tapping at a plantation at Dhoni in Palakkad

Tyre makers urged to consider South as well

The Indian Rubber Dealers Federation has hailed the initiative of Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) to invest ₹1,100 crore over a period of five years for the promotion of rubber cultivation in North-Eastern states.

The Federation urged the tyre industry body to consider Southern states as well in the package mooted through Rubber Board as these traditional growing areas could play a qualitative role to reverse the sullen mood in the plantation sector.

George Valy, president of the federation, said that Kerala and couple of other states right from the very inception of rubber cultivation in the country has a bountiful corpus of growers with pioneering farming tradition and vast experience. However, un-remunerative prices for many years at a stretch and resultant non-tapping of trees in an estimated 20 per cent of the total holdings has turned a sizeable extent of it into senile plantation tracts.

In these circumstances, it is imperative that the Rubber Board stepped in with replanting incentives for such holdings so as to regenerate rubber production in Kerala and neighbouring states. Most of the tyre manufacturing companies are based in South India and they would be benefited from the angle of freight savings and effective off-take of NR production, he said.

If the Rubber Board resorts to such a wise decision and also if the prices stood at least at the current market prices, Valy said rubber production and cultivation in India will definitely retrieve its bygone charm over a period of seven years of gestation from now.

The current rubber production is hovering at 7 lakh tonnes, a dip of two lakh plus tonnes whereas annual consumption currently stood at 11 lakh tonnes. The pandemic situation and climatic factors have increasingly put a heavy strain in global availability of NR.

Valy also urged the Rubber Board chairman to cash in on the opportunity to boost NR production by providing replanting incentives for small and marginal senile plantations and create a level playing field for all stakeholders.

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Published on January 07, 2021
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