Myanmar rubber businesses will benefit from more growth opportunities if the country joins the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), said U Hla Kyaw, deputy minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI).
Photo – EPA
“The rubber industry will enjoy better development of technology, access to rubber species, better market penetration and more job opportunities if Myanmar joins the ANRPC,” U Hla Kyaw said.
The ANRPC has also advised and urged MOALI to join their association. The yearly membership fee to join the association is US$5,000, with an initial payment of $1,666 required for the four months between September and December.
“It will be an opportunity for Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers’ Association to be able to carry out activities more closely with the international rubber associations,” said U Hla Kyaw.
Bago Region, Tanintharyi Region, Mon State and Kayin State are the main rubber producing areas in Myanmar and among them, Mon State used to produce about 100,000 tonnes of rubber every year. However, yields have been falling recently, said Amyotha Hluttaw MP Dr Win Myint from Bago Region.
“It has been almost 3-4 years that Mon State has only been able to produce 60,000 tonnes of rubber due to slowdown in production and falling prices,” he said.
Due to decline in prices, workers’ wages have also decreased and because of it, more workers have been going overseas to work, said Dr Win Myint.
“In some rubber plantations, there are almost no workers. Of about 500,000 rubber trees in Mon State, only 300,000 can exude latex while others are being chopped down and sold for wood,” he said.
At a recent parliament session, all MPs agreed to Myanmar joining the ANRPC.