Agri Business

mRube, Rubber Board’s electronic trading platform set to go live in May

V.Sajeev Kumar | | Updated on: Apr 25, 2022

Assam, Goalpara:30/12/2021: A Rabha tribal farmer taps rubber in his rubber farm in Goalpara district of Assam on Thursday, 30 December 2021.Out of the total 4000 hectares of rubber plantation in Assam, around 2900 hectares are in Goalpara district, which is the highest rubber producing district in Assam and over 7000 familes are dependent directly or indirectly on rubber plantations in Goalpara district. Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR / The Hindu | Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

Rubber Board joins hands with Federal Bank and ICICI Bank for operating payment gateway and escrow account

‘mRube’, the electronic trading platform for natural rubber introduced by Rubber Board, is all set to go live by the middle of May.

Binoi Kurian, Deputy Director, Marketing, said arrangements are at the final phase of commencing the e-market operations, which is expected to strengthen the existing supply chain by integrating the upstream and downstream segments.

The Ahmedabad based i- Sourcing Technologies Pvt Ltd is the technology partner for developing the electronic trade platform. 

The Board has joined hands with Federal Bank and ICICI Bank for operating the payment gateway and escrow account, which will nullify the payment risk of buyers and sellers involved in trade through this portal, Kurian said.

It is for the first time in the history of commodity trade either in online or offline, banks have agreed to provide interest free advance against credit in escrow account from buyer. The Board has made arrangements with the two partnering banks for extending zero interest rate facility to rubber sellers trading through this e-market, he added.

How it works

 ‘mRube’ also allows users to filter out buyers and sellers according to their geographical location, quantity, grade of rubber, customer ratings, etc. The buyers and sellers can upload their offer and there is provision for quoting counter offers before confirming the trade. The e-market modules are mobile phone compatible and Android and ios versions are also ready for use.

The rubber trade in the country possesses an innate advantage of high level marketing efficiency owing to its coherent supply chain. The market eco-system has been changed significantly over years with changing patterns of demand in terms of quality and quantity from the consuming sector. Though price realization is relatively good for producers of quality rubber, large volumes of ungraded rubber are traded. These producers are losing their opportunity for want of proper market awareness.

There are also cases where growers and co-operatives find it difficult to sell rubber as per quality grades to the final consumer which often dissuades them in producing quality material. The size of the dealer fraternity is also seen shrinking. From 10,512 active rubber dealers in 2000, the figure came down to 9,741 in 2010 and it further reduced to 7,135 in 2020, which is quite alarming, Kurian said.

The e-trade platform attempts to figure out certain impending issues in the existing rubber marketing system. Despite being used in the manufacture of products with critical importance like automobile tyre and tubes, surgical and pharmaceutical products, etc, there is no systematic arrangement for certifying quality of rubber traded in the country. The Board has a system for assaying quality of rubber in the electronic market, which will be a game changer in the domestic natural rubber trade.

Published on April 25, 2022
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