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Major rubber expansion in NE approved

By Bedabrata Lahkar
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GUWAHATI, Jan 9 � With an annual turnover of over Rs 760 crores in 2010, rubber cultivation in the Northeastern States has emerged a major player in the economy of the region. By the end of the XIIth Plan in 2016-17, an additional 60,000 hectares of land will be brought under rubber cultivation giving a big boost to the rural economy of the region.

The major expansion programme in the North East has already been approved by the Government of India as scope for further expansion in the traditional growing areas in Kerala and Tamilnadu is extremely limited. As the demand for rubber in the country continues to grow at a rapid pace, tremendous possibilities have opened up for the region as over 4.5 lakh hectares of land has been identified as suitable for rubber cultivation by the Rubber Board. Only about one lakh hectares of land in the region has so far been brought under rubber cultivation.

�Rubber plantation can bring about the much needed economic and social transformation in the region�, said KG Mohanan, Additional Rubber Production Commissioner while speaking to a group of newsmen here yesterday. He explained �one hectare of rubber plantation can provide regular employment to one person for at least 25 years � the life span of the rubber tree.�

Out of the total 4.5 lakh hectares identified suitable for rubber in different NE states, Assam alone has about 2 lakh ha which could be gainfully put under rubber cultivation. The prospective areas in the state are mainly distributed in in Goalpara , Kamrup , Dhhbri, Kokrajhar, Baska,Bongaigaon, Nowgaon , Karbi Anglong , Darang, Cachar, and Karimganj districts and selected pockets of Lakhimpur , Sibasagar, Jorhat and Dibrugarh districts. All these identified areas are the uncultivated or under utilized, fallow high lands and low elevation hills ( tillas) used for environmentally hazardous joom cultivation.

Rubber cultivation in the region gained momentum from 1976 onwards when State Governments in NE started setting up corporations to take up its cultivation. But it gained popularity among the small growers only from 1985 onwards when the Rubber Board began aggressively promoting cultivation of rubber in the region by launching the scheme �Accelerated Rubber Development in the NE�. The scheme provides for a lot of incentives, subsidies and free extension support to encourage small growers in the region to actively take up rubber cultivation.

Out of the total 4.5 lakh hectares identified suitable for rubber in different NE states, Assam alone has about 2 lakh ha which could be gainfully put under rubber cultivation. The prospective areas in the state are mainly distributed in Goalpara, Kamrup, Dhhbri, Kokrajhar, Baska, Bongaigaon, Nagaon, Karbi Anglong, Darrang, Cachar and Karimganj districts and selected pockets of Lakhimpur, Sibasagar, Jorhat and Dibrugarh districts. All these identified areas are uncultivated or under-utilised, fallow highlands and low-elevation hills used for jhum cultivation.

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Major rubber expansion in NE approved

GUWAHATI, Jan 9 � With an annual turnover of over Rs 760 crores in 2010, rubber cultivation in the Northeastern States has emerged a major player in the economy of the region. By the end of the XIIth Plan in 2016-17, an additional 60,000 hectares of land will be brought under rubber cultivation giving a big boost to the rural economy of the region.

The major expansion programme in the North East has already been approved by the Government of India as scope for further expansion in the traditional growing areas in Kerala and Tamilnadu is extremely limited. As the demand for rubber in the country continues to grow at a rapid pace, tremendous possibilities have opened up for the region as over 4.5 lakh hectares of land has been identified as suitable for rubber cultivation by the Rubber Board. Only about one lakh hectares of land in the region has so far been brought under rubber cultivation.

�Rubber plantation can bring about the much needed economic and social transformation in the region�, said KG Mohanan, Additional Rubber Production Commissioner while speaking to a group of newsmen here yesterday. He explained �one hectare of rubber plantation can provide regular employment to one person for at least 25 years � the life span of the rubber tree.�

Out of the total 4.5 lakh hectares identified suitable for rubber in different NE states, Assam alone has about 2 lakh ha which could be gainfully put under rubber cultivation. The prospective areas in the state are mainly distributed in in Goalpara , Kamrup , Dhhbri, Kokrajhar, Baska,Bongaigaon, Nowgaon , Karbi Anglong , Darang, Cachar, and Karimganj districts and selected pockets of Lakhimpur , Sibasagar, Jorhat and Dibrugarh districts. All these identified areas are the uncultivated or under utilized, fallow high lands and low elevation hills ( tillas) used for environmentally hazardous joom cultivation.

Rubber cultivation in the region gained momentum from 1976 onwards when State Governments in NE started setting up corporations to take up its cultivation. But it gained popularity among the small growers only from 1985 onwards when the Rubber Board began aggressively promoting cultivation of rubber in the region by launching the scheme �Accelerated Rubber Development in the NE�. The scheme provides for a lot of incentives, subsidies and free extension support to encourage small growers in the region to actively take up rubber cultivation.

Out of the total 4.5 lakh hectares identified suitable for rubber in different NE states, Assam alone has about 2 lakh ha which could be gainfully put under rubber cultivation. The prospective areas in the state are mainly distributed in Goalpara, Kamrup, Dhhbri, Kokrajhar, Baska, Bongaigaon, Nagaon, Karbi Anglong, Darrang, Cachar and Karimganj districts and selected pockets of Lakhimpur, Sibasagar, Jorhat and Dibrugarh districts. All these identified areas are uncultivated or under-utilised, fallow highlands and low-elevation hills used for jhum cultivation.

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