Agartala | The Rubber Board is now focusing on the North-East for further extension of rubber cultivation to meet the growing demand in the country, a top official today said.
Now we are looking at the north eastern region of the country for further expansion of rubber cultivation as cultivation has come to a saturation point in Kerala and there is no scope for further extension there. The demand for rubber is very high and we are looking at new areas to meet the growing demands, Rubber Board chairman A Jayathilak told reporters here.
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, he said. Jayathilak was here to attend the golden jubilee celebrations of rubber plantation in Tripura.
Rubber is generally cultivated as a mono crop but recent experiments have shown it also gave a good yield when cultivated as a multi-crop, the Rubber Board chairman said. In Tripura, rubber can be cultivated with banana, pineapple and bamboo and with tea in West Bengal.
These have been experimentally proved, he said. Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) Director James Jacob said extensive research on the soil and climatic condition of North-East have shown that it was suitable for rubber cultivation.