Rubber master plan to up production to 30,000 metric tons by 2045

The Colombo Rubber traders Association (CRTA) last Friday highlighted the importance of launching the proposed Rubber Master Plan by the Government last year and said that this plan would help to achieve a remarkable increase in the local rubber production up to 30,000 metric tons by the year 2045.

CRTA Chairman Sunil Poholiyadda made these remarks at the 98th AGM of the Colombo Rubber Traders Association.

The AGM was also represented by Plantation Industry Ministry Secretary J.A. Ranjith, Plantation Industry Ministry Advisor Lakna Paranawithana and Chamber Representative Alikle Perera. The AGM was also represented by a large number of personnel involved in the rubber industry.

At the AGM it was also revealed that the objective of forming the CRTA was to facilitate efficiency and transparency between sellers, producers, buyers, exporters and dealers to assist the growth and sustainability of the rubber industry in Sri Lanka and also promote Sri Lanka’s rubber and rubber products in global markets.Addressing the gathering, Chairman Poholiyadda said that at a time when the CRTA is taking all measures to develop the country’s rubber cultivation to the maximum, the Planters Association has identified over 2,500 hectares of rubber lands of regional plantation companies for clearing for industrial purposes.

He said another reason for the drop in the country’s rubber production is clearing rubber lands due to urbanization and this situation too has become a major threat to the industry.

He said his Association would appeal the Government to look into this matter as such a situation will drop the country’s rubber production in future.

The CRTA Chairman also said the rubber production in the country reduced to 79 million kilos last year from a record number of 88 million kilos achieved during the corresponding period of 2015.

He reminded the gathering that there was a drop in the production of natural rubber by 50 percent compared to production in 2012. The Chairman also highlighted the reason for the drop in the rubber production which was due to the adverse weather conditions which prevailed against the normal weather patterns experienced in the past.

He said 70 percent of the country’s rubber production comes from the small holder sector and with the drop in price, many rubber growers either discontinue harvesting or uprooted rubber trees to generate funds they require.

“It is pathetic to say that few years ago the price of a rubber per kilo went up to Rs. 600 and in 2016 a kilo of the same rubber dropped to Rs. 200.”

He however said that the prices of natural rubber went up to Rs. 400 at the Colombo auction this month.

The CRTA Chairman further said that the domestic consumption of rubber has increased from 127 million kilos in 2015 to 142 million kilos in 2016.

Ministry of Plantation Industries Advisor Lakna Paranawithana mentioned the launched Rubber Master Plan was already launched and said the preparations of this plan is being done by officials in the Ministry.

He said the Ministry has also completed the establishment of the Rubber Secretariat at Diyawanna Gardens to carry out further development activities in the industry.

 


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