For the first time since 2014, India’s natural rubber production in 2019-2020 has logged 7.12 lakh tonne, crossing the 7-lakh-tonne mark. Rubber Board of India forecasts its production for the current fiscal at 7,10,000 tonne, factoring in the crop loss owing to corona virus. According to Rubber Board’s latest statistics, NR consumption dropped from 12,11,940 tonne in 2018-2019 to 11,34,120 tonne in 2019-2020. The production-consumption gap of NR. It has shrunk to around 4,22,000 tonne from 5,61,000 tonne, as the Board said. “It was due to the efforts of the Board to form rubber cultivation remunerative that the production-consumption gap was brought down,” told by Rubber Board , executive KN Raghavan. “With the support of our Rubber Producers’ Societies, we had been implementing initiatives to increase the production and productivity of the plantations.” The tapped area has increased by 40,000 hectares last fiscal. The rain-guarded area was 2.50 lakh hectare in 2019-20, higher by about 40,000 hectares.
The plantation adoption program also added 4,000 hectares under the tapping area. Amid within the 180th meeting of Rubber Board through video-conferencing, chairman Sawar Dhanania has called upon the stakeholders to place the heads together to seek out ways to deal with the pandemic situation. “The Board and stakeholders should aim to satisfy 75% of the NR demand, through domestic production,” Dhanania said. Imports fell 20% in 2019-20; 70% of the imports were through the duty paid channel, while exports increased from 4,551 tonnes in 2018-19 to 12,194 tonne in 2019-20. To address the lockdown distress of small growers, the Board has submitted a proposal to the central government that includes measures like minimum import price and restriction of imports. Raghavan said an incubation center to develop innovative processes and products together with rubber sector entrepreneurs has been mooted. This would go alive soon, he added.