Lockdown may lead to natural rubber scarcity in post-Covid days

The easing of curbs for just about all plantation crops in Kerala other than all-natural…

The easing of curbs for just about all plantation crops in Kerala other than all-natural rubber has put the sector in doldrums, as it feared that the lockdown may perhaps direct to a shortage of rubber in the post-Covid days.

The all-natural rubber sector has shed an opportunity of a fantastic crop harvesting in the lockdown period of March and April when the State been given fantastic summer showers. The constraints have led to a predicament of an impending rubber scarcity in the current market, C Sabu, Joint Rubber Manufacturing Commissioner, Rubber Board, explained to BusinessLine.

The discontinuation of tapping was performed at a time when the produce was fantastic. The lockdown has also resulted in the delay of the removing of senile vegetation, forcing growers to postpone their replanting programme. Moreover, the absence of rubber trading has afflicted funds movement and income, in particular from the sale of sheets and latex that arrived to a standstill, he explained.

The closing down of Group Processing Centres and Latex Collection Centres has pressured farmers to discontinue tapping, as vast majority them of are depending on GPC’s/LCC’s for crop processing. Many of them are not possessing infrastructure or labour for sheeting.

Remarkably positioned resources in the sector pointed out that rubber cultivation is fundamentally an agricultural operation and the denial of authorization to have out farming in rubber plantations was not an proper evaluate when neighbouring States have offered their nod.

The sector has experienced a 6 per cent drop in production and the resources attributed the crop reduction to 35,000 tonnes valued at ₹300 crore considering that the lockdown was in location. The shutdown has seriously afflicted the livelihoods of folks, as a lot more than eight lakh in addition personnel are specifically and indirectly dependent on allied routines.

Shortage of raw materials

It is pointed out that the scarcity of the raw materials is heading to have a immediate affect on the rubber marketplace, as all-natural rubber is a main element in the production of surgical gloves, facemasks, catheters etc.

Growers urged the govt to allow all vital functions such as tapping, rain-guarding, weeding, processing and transportation in rubber plantations so that the money crunch is currently being confronted the sector can be minimised considerably, explained Ajith BK, Secretary, Association of Planters of Kerala. It is uncomplicated to stick to the social distancing norms and private cleanliness in rubber plantations in particular when tapping functions was performed by a one tapper who is engaged in a block of four hundred trees, which is equivalent to nearly a hectare, he explained.

To have out the rain-guarding functions, the prerequisite of the workforce was three-4 per hectare. If this action was not concluded by the to start with week of May possibly, growers would confront significant losses as the ensuing monsoon is most likely to be significant in the wake of temperature forecasts, he added.