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Slide 1: 

NATURAL RUBBER IN TRIPURA Socio-economic Impact Natural Rubber Research in Tripura Extension Activities in Tripura Points Raised by Government of Tripura

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Socio-economic Impact


TRADITIONAL RUBBER GROWING AREAS Ideally rubber grows in the region between 8o N and 10o S of the equator where rainfall, humidity and temperature are high and elevation is below 450 meters. In India rubber is traditionally grown in Kerala and Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. Rubber is a sturdy tree that can withstand some variations in climate, though growth and yield will be affected. Performance of experimental plantations proves that under scientific agromanagement, rubber can be grown as an economically viable crop in northeastern India also.

North Eastern India : 

North Eastern India Falls between 22 & 29o N latitude, with average annual rainfall of 2150 mm. In all NE states except Sikkim, certain pockets have been found suitable for rubber cultivation. Total area available for rubber planting in NE region is around 450,000 ha., of which around 20% is already planted. North East accounts for 13.42% of the total rubber area in India and 4.31% of the total production.



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Agartala is the rubber capital of NE. With about 50,000 ha and 23,000 ton annual production, Tripura has taken its rightful place in the natural rubber map of India- next only to Kerala. Thanks to the active support from the state government; NR is a big success story in Tripura. Tripura rubber model is worth emulating by the rest of the NE where agro-climatic conditions are within acceptable limits.

Ecological & Economic Benefits of Rubber Planting in NE : 

Ecological & Economic Benefits of Rubber Planting in NE Scientific rubber cultivation improves soil health and thus helps to restore degraded soils, especially jhummed lands. Rubber plantations have high rate of carbon sequestration. Generates direct employment – around 1000 man days / ha in immature phase – regular direct employment for 75 persons per 100 ha in the productive phase. Indirect employment – in the nurseries, production and distribution of plantation inputs, intercropping, rubber trading, processing, rubber wood cutting, sale, processing & furniture making . Provides ancillary income through honey, rubber seeds etc. Rubber wood saves the forest.

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RUBBER BOARD STRATEGY IN TRIPURA Enabling Tripura rubber growers through cluster approach Group planting Group processing & Group marketing

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Family income has increased almost exponentially since taking up rubber cultivation

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Mean annual income of a beneficiary family (Rangmala Block Plantation of Bishramgamj area of W. Tripura, 2000-01 to 2009-10)

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Marketing intervention by Rubber Board company was a relief for growers and a great success

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Enabling the RPSs to stand on their own feet Share contributions from Block Plantation RPSs in Tripura Latex Pvt. Ltd

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Share contributions from BP RPSs contd….

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Areas where intervention/guidance required Better access to education, health care and other infra-structural facilities Needs more inclusive growth through rubber cultivation; only a small per cent of the native population is doing rubber cultivation and thus improving living standards Replicate the group approach model successfully demonstrated by Rubber Board (with a bare minimum strength of less than 40 extension officers!) in other sectors

To achieve these ends with the least environmental cost:Need to scientifically delineate potential lands for further expansion of rubber in Tripura and elsewhere in the NE where, (i) agro-climatic and soil conditions are satisfactory (ii) impact on forests and biodiversity is the least and (iii) there is no land use conflict with other crops, especially food crops : 

To achieve these ends with the least environmental cost:Need to scientifically delineate potential lands for further expansion of rubber in Tripura and elsewhere in the NE where, (i) agro-climatic and soil conditions are satisfactory (ii) impact on forests and biodiversity is the least and (iii) there is no land use conflict with other crops, especially food crops

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Natural Rubber Research in Tripura


RESEARCH PRIORITIES Delineate agro-climatically suitable lands in NE where NR can be profitably introduced with the least impact on forests and biodiversity and avoiding wetlands and other lands cultivated with food crops. (This will help Rubber Board to encourage scientific cultivation of natural rubber in the region).

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IRS P6 satellite Image of Kottayam district for 2005

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Vaikom Meenachil Kottayam Changanassery Kanjirapally Rubber Distribution during 2005

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Visualization of rubber distribution over terrain of Kottayam District

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Develop location-specific high yielding clones Evolve region-specific farm technologies (What is good in Kerala conditions need not be so in NE, because of vast differences in climate and soil type)

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INDIA Kottayam

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12 High yielding selections made from all four Regional Research Stations in NE, namely RRS Agartala, RRS Guwahati ,RES Nagrakata and RRS Tura. Yield potential of one selection is as high as 123 g/t/tap. These selections are planted in the field for further evaluation at RRS Agartala. They will be field tested in other parts of NE as well. Breeding garden established and regular hybridisation programme taken up every year.

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Severe cold affects growth and productivity of rubber. A few potential clones that tolerate cold stress have been identified. Crop management practices for overcoming winter stress developed. Response to fertilizer application assessed and fertiliser dose fixed. Intercropping in young rubber plantations with a cafeteria of food crops such as upland rice, maize, vegetables, banana, pineapple, ginger, turmeric, pigeon pea, sesamum and groundnut is possible. Tapping schedule for NE developed, keeping in mind the need to avoid stress to the trees during winter. NE is generally free of any major disease of rubber except powdery mildew disease for which effective control measures are available.

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ALF disease, a major fungal disease in Kerala is absent in NE as the climatic conditions in NE, particularly the low winter temperature (as of now) are not congenial for the fungus. Climate has been warming in NE and there can be associated changes in disease incidence. Winters have become less severe as the minimum temperature has increased in the recent years.

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Climate warming may only have very marginal impact on NR productivity in the NE

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Zero tillage concept being tested for those areas with deep soil and where the slope is steep. Root trainer cups (to grow rubber plants in the nursery) made of bamboo are being evaluated. Low cost smoke house for small growers developed.

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Advisory services Soil and leaf analyses for recommending fertilisers Rendering technical services for effective disease management in the grower’s fields Providing technical back up to the Extension wing

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Monitoring changes in climate and soil health Assessing environmental and socio-economic impact of rubber cultivation in NE

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Burning of forest vegetation prior to shifting cultivation Eco-restoration through rubber cultivation

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3350 gm/m2/year = 33.5 ton CO2/ha/year CO2 sequestration potential of five years old plants calculated from Eddy Covariance System

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Biometric Estimation Total C Sequestered = 164.18 T C / ha ( in 21 Years) Annualized Mean = 164.8/21 =7.8 T C / ha That is equal to 28 T CO2e / ha / year

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R R I I NR plantations sequester large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere every year. In India, this comes to about 20 million ton CO2 every year.

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Remarkably high rate of CO2 sequestration (29 to 40 t CO2 per ha per year)

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Taking a modest rate of 25 T CO2 / ha / year, world’s 10.4 m ha of natural rubber plantations help to offset the current rate of build up of CO2 in the atmosphere to the tune of 1.6% Natural rubber and other commercial plantations including forests plantations and horticultural orchards provide invaluable ecosystem services to humanity that should not go unappreciated

Water Balance in Rubber plantations : 

Water Balance in Rubber plantations ☺ A 18-20 year old rubber consumes 25 liter/day/tree ☺ The mean water consumption of rubber plantation = 3.7 x 106 litre/ha/year ☺ Mean annual rainfall of Kottayam is around 3000mm = 3 x 107 litres/ha/year ☺ The quantum of water consumed by rubber is only 12% of rainfall. The average transpiration water loss is 2 mm/day ☺ The total surface and plant evapo-transpiration loss is about 25% of rainfall (The ETc in grown up plantation is 3-5mm/day) ☺ It seems to be large quantity of water is lost through run off and deep drainage

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Modern man needs rubber, whether it is natural or synthetic. And he needs more and more of it as the economy grows further.

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If there is not enough NR in the world, the alternative is only SRs that are made from petroleum stock, and therefore, there is a huge environmental cost associated with use of SRs.

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Substituting SRs with NR reduces CO2 emission (1 GJ = 0.0732 tonnes of CO2)

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Man needs rubber. Natural rubber is the natural choice. It is good for man and environment.

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Details of the North Eastern Research Complex

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Extension Activities in Tripura

Rubber Board’s Development programmes in NE : 

Rubber Board’s Development programmes in NE Promotes rubber planting by providing technical and financial assistance Financial assistance is limited to growers with area upto 20.00 ha only. Block / group planting through participatory approach Promotes community processing and marketing Promotes use of treated rubber wood as a substitute for scarce forest timber. Expansion of rubber area in NE by 60000 ha is proposed during the XI & XII plan period.

Factors favouring investment in rubber planting in NE region : 

Factors favouring investment in rubber planting in NE region Availability of land - around 365000 ha of suitable land is available in the region. Manpower for plantation work is available locally. Technical assistance from Rubber Board at all stages of planting, maintenance, harvesting & primary processing. Training support from Rubber Board to management personnel and skilled workers.

Contd…… : 

Contd…… Research support from the Rubber Board - Performance evaluation of different clones in the region has been done - Location specific issues are being addressed. Disease incidence is low in the region . Possibility of credit facilities from Banks. Proximity to Kolkata, a major rubber consuming centre Certain well maintained small holdings in the region yield up to 1800 kg. per hectare per year.

Special features of NE that affect rubber plantations : 

Special features of NE that affect rubber plantations Occasional hail storm, flash flood, landslides and cyclones may cause damage to plantations – plantations have to be insured. Tapping of rubber trees during winter season (when temperature falls below 10ºC) may affect the health of trees. Average productivity in the region is lower than the national average. Present low average productivity in NE is mainly because: Some of the initial plantations were not maintained and managed scientifically Planting material used is not the ideal one in many cases Skilled tappers were not available Optimum stand of rubber trees is not present in certain plantations.

Plan expenditure of the Board and share spent in NE. – Rs. crore : 

Plan expenditure of the Board and share spent in NE. – Rs. crore

Scheme for Rubber Development in NE : 

Scheme for Rubber Development in NE Outlay for XI plan is Rs. 173.00 cr. Has components for a. Development & Demonstration b. Research c. Processing & quality upgradation d. Human Resource Development e. Labour welfare

Development assistance from the Board in NE : 

Development assistance from the Board in NE Planting Grant – Rs. 22000 per ha for growers owning upto 20.00 ha – Payable in 6 annual installments after ensuring through field inspection that the stipulated items of work are done. Cost of planting materials- Rs. 8.00 per polybagged plant for 500 plants - paid alongwith 1st year’s planting grant. Transportation grant - For meeting the transportation expenditure of plantation input items to the far away fields – Rs. 4000.00 per ha - paid in 6 annual installments alongwith planting grant Demonstration plantations in farmers’ fields – for demonstrating different agro management practices in the immature phase in growers’ fields itself in rubber growing areas- Assistance -Rs.60000/- per ha

Contd….. : 

Contd….. Boundary Protection – entitlement limited to 2.00 ha for growers owning upto 5.00 ha only- Rs. 12500 per ha for barbed wire fencing on concrete poles – Rs. 5000 for bamboo fencing. Irrigation – as a life saving mechanism to ensure survival of plants in the case of late planting – for the year of planting only – Rs.3000 per ha – entitlement for 5.00 ha only Restocking and revitalisation – for rejuvenating sick plantations upto the age of 3 years – Rs. 13500 to 20000 payable in 3 annual installments.

Contd…. : 

Contd…. Block planting – Board directly plants rubber on tribal land with 50% financial support from state government – operational in Tripura only other states have not cooperated – beneficiaries work as wage earning labourers in their own holdings – 10% wages deducted as their contribution for the project Transportation subsidy for plantation requisites – materials required in rubber plantations are mainly transported from Kerala – Board meets 75% of the transportation cost to ensure availability of these materials at reasonable cost.

Contd… : 

Contd… Free supply of sheeting rollers – rollers are supplied free of cost to RPS / NGOs involved in rubber planting Roller subsidy – Rs. 10000 for purchase of rollers by individual growers Construction of smoke house – Rs. 20000 subsidy for individual growers. Subsidy on fertilizers and rain guarding materials – these items supplied through RPS to small growers Effluent treatment plant – Rs. 8000 subsidy for small biogas plants for treating effluent from rubber sheet making units.

Contd…. : 

Contd…. Apiculture – Rs.3000 subsidy per grower for keeping a unit of 4 bee hives in his plantation Group Processing units – Rs. 7.00 lakh for constructing community processing centres by RPS. Transportation subsidy for for carrying latex from farmers’ fields to RPS. – Re – 0.25 per kg drc of latex.

Training activities : 

Training activities 1. Tappers training – a. 30 days’ residential training in tapping given to fresh candidates in Board’s Tappers Training Schaools b. 7 days’ short duration intensive tappers training given to practicing tappers in the field. Stipend of Rs. 75 is given to the trainees in both cases 2. Training in planting and all other agromannagement practices, nursery operations etc to the growers and workers in the training establishments of the Board in NE:

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a. Regional Rubber Training Centre, Agartala b. Demonstration Plantation in Tulakona, Tripura c. Rubber Research & Training Centre, Hahara, Assam d. District Development Centres, in Jengitchikgiri, Meghalaya and Darranggiri, Assam.

Board’s establishments in NE : 

Board’s establishments in NE Zonal Offices -2 Regional Offices -11 Field Offices -17 Tappers Training Schools -4 Rubber Research & Training Centre -1 District Development Centre -2 Regional Nursery -3 NRETC -1 Regional Research Stations -4

State Governments’ support needed : 

State Governments’ support needed Financial support for Block Planting Rubber may be considered as a priority crop for rehabilitation of tribal people on the model of Tripura. Policy decision for allotment of suitable land for large scale planting of rubber by private / Governmental agencies. Local bodies may arrange village level meetings of farmers to create awareness about rubber Provide financial support to Farmer groups, NGOs etc to set up rubber nurseries and manufacturing units of plantation input items.

Contd….. : 

Contd….. Settlement Dept. of Tripura may issue allotment papers to all Block Planting beneficiaries Land allotment to Tripura Latex factory may be expedited Availability of fertilizers in rural areas may be ensured.

Issues to be addressed : 

Issues to be addressed Fund constraints Rs. 1278.00 lakh is payable to 17393 growers as subsidy sanctioned in 2009-10. Budget sanctioned for NE in 2010-11 is Rs. 30. 00 cr, out of which Rs.3.00 cr. is for research activities. Remaining Rs.27.00 cr. is quite insufficient to pay the last year’s pending subsidy and to meet the current year’s expenditure.Board has requested for Rs. 55.20 cr. Staff shortage Both in the office and the field. Board requested for 30 Field Officers and 30 Junior Assts. Only 10 Field Officers sanctioned

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Points Raised by Government of Tripura

Points raised by Govt. of Tripura and replies thereon : 

Points raised by Govt. of Tripura and replies thereon As per the recently amended Rubber Act, one small grower from Tripura will be a member of the Board. One Regional Office has already been opened in Ambassa, the Head Quarters of Dhalai district. Study tour of growers to Kerala was essential in the initial years. Now good training facilities and good plantations are available in Tripura. So this programme had to be suspended in view of fund constraint.

Issues raised by Govt. of Tripura and replies thereon : 

Issues raised by Govt. of Tripura and replies thereon Board is in discussion with ISRO and I.I.T. Kharagpur to accurately assess potential area, planted area etc, based on satellite imagery, long term climatic data and soil fertility status. Consequent to Board’s discussions with NIC, they are now insuring mature area also in the NE region. Immature areas covered under subsidy are compulsorily insured and the premium is deducted from subsidy. There are administrative difficulties in reintroducing the system of approving private nurseries. Process of educating the growers on quality of planting materials will be intensified. At present there is no need for setting up a full-fledged Quality Control Laboratory in Tripura because the number of rubber based / rubber wood based industrial units is very small. Rubber Park should provide, testing facilities.

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Thank You

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