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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

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Rubber production up 50 percent

Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said yesterday that production and productivity of rubber cultivation has increased by 50 percent over the past five years.


Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe

The minister made this observation in response to a question for oral answers raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake.

Minister Samarasinghe said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has allocated money for the first time this year, to provide relief for rain guards for rubber cultivation, extending in 10,000 hectares with the objective of further increasing the productivity and production of rubber. Minister Samarasinghe added that relief will be granted to the rest of the cultivators to set rain guards for rubber cultivation in the coming years.

He said that rubber tapping is difficult in areas which experience rain. He added that tapping is fast decreasing and recommended the use of rain guards to increase production.

Minister Samarasinghe said that rubber production increased from 104 million kgs to 153 million kgs from 2005 to 2010 while productivity increased from 1,171 to 1,582 during the corresponding period.

3Samarasinghe said that this program was due to the support extended by the President. The ministry is seeking other options to increase the production by resuming rubber cultivation in non-traditional areas, he said. "Soil tests and other research, has revealed that in most parts of Vavuniya and some parts in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu have a conducive condition for rubber cultivation."

He added that 10,000 hectares in Moneragala have been devided among smallholders for rubber cultivation and 3,000 hectares have already been cultivated.

Minister Samarasinghe stated that even in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa rubber is being cultivated in 20 and 40 acres.

 

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