AGARTALA, Dec 8 � Tripura will face stiff competition in retaining second largest natural rubber producing State tag if the production is not enhanced in the years to come, said Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.
Kerala, which has been contributing 82 per cent raw natural rubber in the country, has already been enjoying first position since a long time while Tripura�s position is second with only 8.2 per cent contribution.
Tripura will face tough challenge as many States have started showing interest in rubber plantation after suffering losses in the past, Sarakr said while speaking at a programme organized by the Rubber Board at Prajna Bhavan here.
Calling upon the experts of the Rubber Board to look into the problem that led to low productivity of natural rubber in the State, he said that the time has come to explore the full potential in the field of rubber cultivation.
Asserting that the rubber cultivation has been changing the face of rural economcy of the State, Sarkar said that there should be maximum efforts on the part of growers and experts on how to address the low production of natural rubber.
In her speech, Ms Sheela Thomas, the Chairman of the Rubber Board ruled out any adverse environmental affect due to rubber cultivation.
In Kerala, around 5 lakh hectares of land have been brought under natural rubber cultivation without any harm to environment, she claimed.
�There is a general perception that rubber cultivation would harm the environment but the natural rubber in no way harms the environment,� Ms Thomas said.
The Chairman further said that Tripura�s per hectare rubber production could be 40,000 kg which is almost double to the exsting productivily.
�For this, the farmers need to keep close relation with the experts of the Rubber Board. In turn, the Rubber Board needs to ensure supply of good planting materials,� she added.
The programme was organised to award best rubber producers� society, best male rubber grower, best female rubber grower and best rubber tapper.
Industries Minister Jitendra Chowdhury, Chairman of Tripura Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (TIDC) Pabitra Kar, J Thomas, Rubber Production Commissioner, among others, were present in the programme.