Rubber Board of India plans to expand rubber cultivation in northeast

Agartala (Tripura), July 13 : With Tripura emerging as the second largest rubber growing state in the country after Kerala, the Rubber Board of India is planning to make the region a hub of rubber production.

Farmers in the northeast find rubber cultivation to be a lucrative venture. According to the Rubber Board of India around 4.5 lakh hectare of land is suitable for planting of rubber in the region.

Tripura has around one lakh hectares of land under rubber cultivation. Now, the Board has identified two-lakh hectare land in Assam with potential for rubber cultivation. And, efforts are on to make it a hub for rubber production.

"The Rubber Board has got an estimate of 4.5 lakh hector of land suitable for northeastern state. Assam has the maximum potential of 2 lakh hector then Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh all these states has potential. In all these states rubber has come up to some extend but of course the percentage of area cover is less than comparing to Tripura. Now Assam is going in a big way to expand the rubber cultivation in the state," said K G Mohanan, former Additional Rubber Production Commissioner.

In Tripura, the state government has already taken measures to popularize rubber cultivation and has implemented a project called "Block Rubber planting" to supply rubber plant seeds to farmers.
Over 3,200 families have already benefited from the scheme. To facilitate rubber cultivators, a rubber wood factory plant was set up in Anandanagar in west Tripura. It is the first in the Northeast, and the second largest in India.

"We were very poor earlier and insurgency was an additional problem for us, but now after cultivating rubber we are better off. At present we earn between Rs 3000-4,000 per month from tapping rubber," said Subhas Debbarma, a rubber cultivator.

The rising demand of rubber in the national and international markets is good news for farmers in the Northeast. It will boost their incomes and help them improve their living standards.

--ANI (Posted on 13-07-2013)

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