India’s natural rubber production up 8% in 2021-22

India’s natural rubber production (NR) registered an 8 per cent growth in 2021-22 at 775,000 tonnes compared with 715,000 tonnes in 2020-21, thanks to increase in yield, tappable and area tapped, K.N. Raghavan, Executive Director, Rubber Board has said.  

The area under rubber during FY22 was 826,660 hectare. Though the tappable area under rubber was 718,800 ha during FY 22, only 526,500 ha (73.2 per cent) has contributed to the NR production during the year. The average yield, measured in terms of production per hectare of the tapped area increased to 1,472 kg/ha in 2021-22 from 1,442 kg/ha in the previous year, he said.

Raghavan was presenting the report on the current domestic status of natural rubber at the 181 st meeting of the Board.

Domestic consumption

He said, the country had consumed 12,38,000 tonnes of NR in FY22, an increase of 12.9 per cent from 10,96,410 tonnes in FY21. The auto tyre sector registered 15.9 per cent growth against 3.2 per cent. At the same time, the general rubber goods sector registered 5.6 per cent growth compared to a high negative growth of 16.4 per cent recorded during FY21. Auto-tyre manufacturing sector accounted for 73.1 per cent of the total quantity of NR consumed. The projection of NR production and consumption for 2022-23 is 850,000 tonnes and 1290,000 tonnes, respectively, he said.

The imports increased to 546,369 tonnes when compared to 410,478 tonnes during FY 21. The demand-supply gap of the NR is the primary reason for the huge imports of this commodity, he added.

Earlier, Sawar Dhanania, Chairman, Rubber Board has emphasised the urgent need to increase the area under natural rubber cultivation to meet the domestic demand and reduce the dependence on imports.   

Natural rubber production in India will not be sufficient to meet the consumer industry’s demands as consumption is expected to touch 15,00,000 tonnes by 2025-26. The production-consumption gap is presently met by imports involving huge foreign exchange outgo, he said

The Centre felt the need to increase natural rubber production by expanding cultivation to non-traditional areas, including North East and traditional regions. The Board has identified a vast stretch of land in North East and West Bengal for rubber cultivation. ‘NE-MITRA’ is a project conceived to develop rubber plantations in those areas with financial support from consuming industries.

Meantime, the efforts for extra income generating activities like beekeeping, intercropping etc., should be continued. He added that promoting the rubber wood industry and carbon trading is the need of the hour to make a green environment and bring sustainability to the rubber sector.

Published on

August 19, 2022

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