Ministry takes steps to increase production of rubber

Thursday, 28 June 2012 00:21 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Ministry of Plantation Industry has taken measures to expand rubber cultivation in non-traditional rubber plantation areas in order to meet the increasing demand for rubber in the world market.

Minister of Plantation Industries Mahinda Samarasinghe said that there is a very high demand for natural rubber in the world market and Sri Lanka has not been able to meet this high demand due to insufficient local production.  At present Sri Lanka produces about 150,000 metric tons of rubber and it is necessary to increase production by at least another 50,000 metric tons.

At present Sri Lanka has rubber cultivations in Kaluthara, Rathnapura and Kegalle districts. Pilot projects carried out in the Ampara and Moneragala districts have been found successful.   Experiments were carried out to cultivate rubber in 10,000 hectares in the Ampara district, which had become successful. Experiments have also been conducted in the districts of Kilinochchi, Mulaitivu and Vavuniya as well.

The Minister informed that The Rubber Research Institute has confirmed that the soil and environment in the Mulaitivu and Vavuniya have also proved suitable for rubber cultivation. Opening up areas for rubber cultivation in these districts will also enable to generate employment opportunities for a large number of people in these districts.

The Minister said that at the same time attention is being focused on manufacturing value added rubber products for the export market rather than exporting raw rubber since these products fetch better prices.