'Rubber Board identifies 1 lakh hectare land in State'

Addressing a press meet here on Wednesday, he said the land identified is suitable for growing rubber. By 2020, the consumption of rubber will be 11.81 lakh metric tonne.

However, the production will be only 10 lakh metric tonne. Karnataka has 25,000 rubber growers. The area under cultivation is 28,830 hectare and produces 20,000 metric tonne annually.

He said from the year 2000, as many as 16,000 growers have planted rubber.

The Rubber Board is providing subsidies for new planting and replanting. In the non-traditional areas like Karnataka, subsidy of Rs 30,000 per hectare is given for growers. In Karnataka, a sum of Rs 3.60 crore has been disbursed among 9,600 growers in the form of subsidy for planting and replanting in 2008-09.

Mohan said growers are also provided subsidy for undertaking irrigation and fencing. All these programmes are aimed at increasing the area of cultivation in the country. In Karnataka, rubber is grown in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Kodagu districts. Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts have 61 Rubber Producers Society.

Through the society, farmers’ group are being formed.

“To solve the shortage of labourers in rubber plantation, we have formed ‘labour banks.’ Rubber Producers Societies register labourers in their particular jurisdiction. To retain the labourers, Rubber Board is paying them extra money of Rs 1,400 in the name of dress allowance and medical allowance apart from wages. It is working successfully in Kerala.

Even in Karnataka, labour banks have been started,” he informed.

In the 11th Five year plan, plantations have been undertaken in 15,000 hectare land and replanting has been done in 1,750 hectare land, he added.

“Rubber is not seasonal crop. Growers will get the yield throughout the year,” said Rubber Board Mangalore Regional office Deputy Commissioner Narayanaswamy. At the same time, tappers are also provided training.  Last year, 16 batches of tappers were provided eight days training. Apart from this, seven batches were provided residential training for 60 days in Karnataka.

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