31 Oct 2014
AGARTALA, INDIA(Commodity Online): India sees no further scope for growth of Rubber cultivation in Kerala and is planning to focus on the North-East states to increase productivity. Kerala accounts for more than 90 per cent of the natural rubber produced in India.
The Rubber Board officials said there is high demand for Rubber and plantations in North- East must be explored. The officials said the soil and climatic condition of North-East are suitable for rubber cultivation.
North-East state Tripura is the second largest rubber producing country after Kerala where 67,730 hectares of land are under rubber cultivation with an annual turnover of Rs 476 crore and the entire North-East including Tripura, Assam, Nagaland and Meghalaya produce 46,000 tonnes of rubber annually covering an area of about 103,500 hectares of land.
In Kerala, Rubber prices are languishing at five-year lows of Rs 121-Rs 122 per kg prompting many farmers in the state to leave tapping. Kerala Government has increased the support price for to Rs.5 a kg from Rs 2 per kg to procure more produce from the growers.
Many small and medium growers have stopped tapping, bringing down September production in September to 60,000 tonnes from 80,000 tonnes in the same period a year ago. Non-remunerative prices and increasing costs of wages and fertilisers will make more growers stay away from tapping.
A supply demand gap is also visible. Consumption had increased 6 per cent during September. Monthly consumption in September was 85,500 tonnes compared to 80,550 tonnes in the same month a year ago, according to the Rubber Board data.
Bulk imports spurred by the lower price regime in the overseas markets is the major cause of this widening supply-demand gap. During the April-September period of the current financial year, 225,652 tonnes were brought, up from 181,700 tonnes in the same period of last FY, recording an increase of as much as 24 per cent
– Commodity Online
31 Oct 2014