Rubber plantation will help N-E, Maoist-hit states: House panel

A Parliamentary panel has asked the Union Home Ministry to support efforts to popularise rubber cultivation in insurgency-hit North-East and Maoist-affected states.

The Standing Committee on Commerce, headed by Bhartiya Janata Party MP Chandan Mitra, said it wanted the Commerce Ministry to engage the Home Ministry on the issue.

The panel felt that there is a huge potential in terms of suitable area for rubber cultivation in Maoist-affected states like Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal as well as insurgency-hit states like Manipur and Nagaland.

The Rubber Board has already submitted a proposal to the home ministry for promoting rubber cultivation in Maoist-affected states.

 However, the ministry is yet to respond to the suggestion.

The panel said the Home Ministry should extend full support to the Rubber Board.
“The rubber cultivation would help improve the standard of living in these areas and also wean away from violence,” it said.

The “success story” of Tripura where rubber helped in “bringing social and economic development of poor, tribal and marginal farmers” is ample proof that the Home Ministry should support the Rubber Board’s proposal.

Tripura accounts for 50 per cent of rubber cultivation while Assam (30.7 per cent) and Meghalaya (9.1 per cent) have the rest.

 However, progress in rubber planting in other north-east states has been marginal. The panel also said in Konkan belt, Karnataka has done better in rubber plantation and urged the government to help other states in the region to take up the same.

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