National Rubber Mission to meet domestic demand, says Board 

V.Sajeev Kumar | | Updated on: Jun 30, 2022
K N Raghavan, Executive Director Rubber Board along with Satish Sharma, Chairman, ATMA 

K N Raghavan, Executive Director Rubber Board along with Satish Sharma, Chairman, ATMA 

Mission eyes new rubber plantations on 5 lakh hectares with the focus on non-traditional areas

The Rubber Board is finalising the contours of a National Rubber Mission to ensure that the domestic natural rubber requirements are met within the country. The domestic production-consumption gap in NR continues to be a matter of concern with the Rubber Board and the rubber consuming industry.

Currently, 35 per cent of the domestic demand is met through imports.

Addressing the managing committee meeting of the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) as a guest speaker, KN Raghavan, Executive Director, Rubber Board, said a National Rubber Mission is in the works to produce enough NR within the country so as to meet the demands of domestic industry and minimise import.

The National Rubber Mission targets new rubber plantations on 5 lakh hectares with the focus being on non-traditional areas, said Raghavan.

Non-traditional areas NEMITRA

Welcoming the proposal of the National Rubber Mission, Satish Sharma, Chairman, ATMA, said, “Tyre industry is all for verdant NR plantation in the country for producing rubber that is qualitatively superior and competitively priced. Select ATMA members are already working with Rubber Board on a collaborative project for developing rubber plantations in the North-East. Titled North-East Mission of Tyre Industry for Rubber Augmentation (NEMITRA), the project aims at developing 2 lakh hectares of rubber plantation in the North-East and West Bengal in five years. The planting under the project has already commenced in June 2021.”

Kerala and Tamil Nadu are the traditional areas for NR plantation in the country. Non-traditional regions include primarily the seven North-Eastern States and States such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Odisha and West Bengal.

The National Rubber Mission is scheduled to be completed by 2025-26. Nearly 95000 hectares has been identified for planting in the current financial year 2022-23.

Raghavan clarified that the National Rubber Mission with a target of new rubber plantation in 5 lakh hectares is in addition to the NEMITRA project. Rubber Board has already developed seven high yielding clones out of which two are exclusively for North East. mRube, an electronic market system for trading NR grades for which Beta launch was done recently is going to be a game changer, said Raghavan.

The current area under NR plantation in the country is 8.3 lakh hectares with a tappable area of 7.2 lakh hectares. In FY22, domestic NR consumption stood at 12.38 lakh tonnes against production of 7.75 lakh tonnes.

Published on June 30, 2022
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