Sawar Dhanania, Chairman of the Rubber Board has called upon the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) to prioritise addressing such issues common for all and formulate appropriate policies.

Inaugurating the annual rubber conference and assembly meetings of the ANRPC in Guwahati on Monday, he said mechanisation in the rubber plantation sector, promotion of sustainable agricultural practices, strengthening of the supply chain, value addition for rubber wood etc would ensure the sustainable existence of rubber farmers everywhere.

Presenting the annual statement of the ANRPC, Zaroissani Mohd Nor, Director–General, Malaysian Rubber Board & Chairman of ANRPC, said the mission of the association is to continuously improve the productivity of rubber holdings, reduce cost, increase value-addition in the downstream rubber sector, explore sources of ancillary income, capitalise on the eco-friendly credentials of natural rubber, and thereby improve the well-being of rubber farmers.

Common challenges

Vasanthagesan, Executive Director of the Rubber Board, said low rubber prices, increased labour costs, labour shortages, diseases, climate change, environmental problems etc are the common challenges that all NR-producing countries face today. Collective efforts are essential to solve these common issues. Efforts are largely ongoing in various dimensions for the overall development of the rubber sector and to achieve self-sufficiency in all rubber production and product manufacturing.

‘INROAD’, the biggest rubber planting project to expand rubber in two lakh hectares of land in northeastern states with the cooperation and financial support of ATMA (Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association) is underway.

The meeting also discussed the scope of carbon crediting.

‘Outlook of Natural Rubber’; ‘Sustainable NR Supply: Challenges and Solutions’; ‘Tyre Industry’; ‘How SICOM can be a reliable price discovery hub for Natural Rubber’;and ‘Measures to improve the NR prices and domestic demands: country experiences’ were the topics of discussions at various sessions.

ANRPC is an inter-governmental organisation established in 1970. The membership is open to the governments of countries producing natural rubber. Currently, 13 countries are members, including India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.