Rubber expands to North
December 22, 2010, 9:54 pm
Steps have been taken to introduce rubber to the Northern Province, according to the Rubber Development Department.
"Rubber has been planted in six blocks on nearly seven acres in the Northern Province on an experimental basis," Director General, Rubber Development Department, R. B. Premadasa said.
Under the supervision of the Plantation Industries Ministry, rubber will be planted in Vauniya, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu next year.
Research conducted by the Rubber Development Department has confirmed that the soil and the climatic conditions of the Northern Province are conducive to the growth of rubber.
Rubber has been planted in fifty acres in the Polonnaruwa District on an experimental basis.
With high prices and an increase in the demand for natural rubber in the international market, cultivating more and more land with rubber would be beneficial to the national economy, Premadasa said.
"The current annual natural rubber production in the country is 137,000 metric tons and the Ministry of Plantation Industries is planning to increase that amount to to 200,000 metric tons by 2016 with expansion projects," he said.
The Ministry currently grants a subsidy of Rs.125,000 per acre for new plantations and this amount is likely to be increased. "The Ministry has also allocated Rs. 160 million for the provision of rain guards," Premadasa said.
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