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Rubber Plantation: Scope, Requirements, Subsidies, Economics of Rubber Farming & More

Hevea Brasiliensis, also known as the rubber tree, has its origin in the spurge family of South American tropical trees and have been a source of natural rubber for the world since ages.

Ayushi Sikarwar

The rubber tree that naturally grows in the forests of Southern America, Western Africa, and the Southeastern areas of Asia provides a good chance for economic growth as well. In this article, we will talk about the complete rubber farming process and how much you can earn from it.

Rubber Plantation:

The tree consists of a dark brown bark with a bottle shaped base, which exudes a milky liquid called latex on inserting a cut through it. Apart from three leaflet leaves, it also bears fruits, that are collected on upon ripening and are used for sowing purposes. The rubber trees that grow in the wild are usually 43 meter in height, while the one that are grown for commercial purposes are comparatively shorter due to continuous withdrawal of latex.

There are 8000 species and 280 genera of the plant, though just 9 varieties of it are known yet. The latex obtained from the rubber trees can contain 25 to 40 percent of rubber hydrocarbons in it. The quality of the produced rubber is measure on the basis of stability and flow of the latex.

Soil and Climatic Conditions Required for Rubber Farming

Tropical and sub-tropical weather conditions are considered to be ideal for the rubber plantation. A minimum temperature of 25-degree Celsius and a maximum of 34 degree Celsius is suitable for a rubber plant to grow. A region which receives a 20,000mm of rainfall, with 80 percent humidity and moderate wind speed goes well for the plantation.

Experts believe that clayey soil with a pH level of 4 to 6 is ideal for rubber farming. Also, sunlight is another essential factor required for good growth of rubber trees. It needs at least 6 hours of sun presence every day.

Rubber Production in India

India produces 6 to 7 tonnes of raw rubber annually which is worth Rs 3,000 crore. The country contributes in 9 percent of global output and is the fourth largest producer in the world. A very small portion of land is suitable for rubber plantation in India, though production rates are high and small-scale producers contribute the most in the sector.

The South Western coasts, majorly the parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, are the traditional producers of rubber, while several regions in Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and North Eastern states are other contributors in the field.

The financial help provided by the central government and the World Bank has encouraged individual farmers as well as rural farmer groups towards rubber cultivation over the past decade, while the new advancement in technology and ease of information has opened newer ways for the producers to earn better profits in the market.

Over 4 lakh women work in the rubber production sector across India, and it is now alluring young minds and the new age start-ups. The plantation also addresses an environmental concern, as natural rubber serves as an alternative to various materials that are considered to be a threat to the ecology.

Loan and Subsidies for rubber farming

The Government of India's Rubber Production Department provides assistance to farmers and individuals interested in the rubber plantation. It often issues advisories and news regarding its schemes and services. Providing financial assistance to the rubber producers, spreading awareness on technological advancements and requirements, offering training, and conducting surveys are some of the significant works addressed by the department.

Crop loan, subsidies, MSPs, and other privileges provided by the GOI to the farmers involved in rubber plantation are also taken care by the department. Individuals involved in the rubber farming can visit their nearby office of Rubber Production Department or NABARD for required assistance.

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