KOCHI, FEBRUARY 5
Aimed at developing private entrepreneurship in sheet rubber processing, the Rubber Board has kick-started a series of workshops in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in association with the National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Jaipur, highlighting the need to improve the quality of sheet rubber.
It is pointed out that a large number of growers are now shifting to latex sales rather than processing sheet rubber due to labour shortage. Besides, inconsistencies in the quality of rubber sheets are often reported to be a result of heterogeneous processing techniques adopted by growers.
According to N Rajagopal, Secretary, Rubber Board, the requirement for quality sheet rubber has gone up on the radialisation of tyres. Though rubber producer societies have been producing quality sheets, the volume handled by them is small. Hence, there is much scope for private entrepreneurs in this field.
As there is an increasing demand for sheet rubber, especially from tyre industry, there is huge potential for sheet processors by collecting field latex on a daily basis and converting it to RSS grades. The sale of field latex on a daily basis to such sheet processors can fetch a better price to growers as the price will be fixed on the basis of daily price of sheet rubber, which is often higher than the price of ammoniated latex.
The Board proposes to develop these enterprises in areas where the Rubber Producer Societies and Group Processing Centres are not involved in field latex collection and processing. Sheet processing is an attractive venture for rubber dealers who are mostly located in rubber growing areas.
VN Krishnapillai, President of Rubber Producer Society Kurumkanni, Kanjirappally, said that growers could not justifiably demand any restriction on imports of solid forms of rubber if they resort to market their produce as latex.