Rubber in Kerala
Rubber and its products have become an indispensable part of our lives. There isn’t a single day in our lives passing without using any of the rubber products. Rubber is a polymer, which is a word that is derived from the Greek meaning ‘many parts’. India is the fourth largest producer of rubber in the world. Its uses and importance can be traced back to the invention of automobiles. It has been described as the nature’s most versatile vegetable crop by National Geographic.
Rubber can be made out of latex. Hevea brasiliensis, also known as the Para rubber tree is the main source of latex. The first scientific study of rubber was done by Charles de la Condamine. It was first used by the people of Amazon. Later its popularity flourished and spread across different parts of the world. The demand for natural rubber will keep on increasing and it is estimated to reach 13.8 million metric tons by 2020.
Synthetic rubber was first developed by Bouchardat. This gave a real break in the usage of rubber across world. This discovery mainly helped in the production of motor vehicle tyres. Thus the demand for tyres made of synthetic rubber increased tremendously. It is artificial elastomer. Synthetic rubber constitutes one third of the total production of rubber.
Rubber in Kerala
Kerala is the leading rubber plantation state in India. It accounts to 92 percent of the country’s total natural rubber production. This crop was brought to India during the reign of British. Most of the hilly regions in Kerala grow rubber especially North Kerala region is concentrating on rubber plantation. It has become the main source of income for many farmers without any doubt. Now we can say that coconut plantations have been almost replaced by rubber plantations as it gives daily income to the planters.
Among the districts in Kerala, Kottayam is the leader in the rubber production. Hence this region is also known as ‘Land of latex’. Kottayam’s 15% of the total industrial units are involved in rubber production only. Meenachil and Kanjirappilly taluks possess the largest area under rubber plantation.
Rubber Board, a central government research institution is located at Kottayam. A common facility service centre, training centre and field testing laboratory for rubber – plastic industries has set up at Changanassery.
Also a central government production cum training centre is situated at Ettumanoor. Recently Rubco opened a factory at Pampady. MRF Ltd (Vadavathoor), Midas Rubber Pvt Ltd (Ettumanoor) and Intermix factory (Neezhoor) are some of the rubber based industries settled in Kerala.
Ranni is one of the 5 taluks in Pathanamthitta district. It is one of the largest taluks in Kerala. It is also nick named as “The Queen of the Eastern Hill Lands”. It is also famous as the number one rubber producing taluk in Kerala. Ranni is blessed with its climatic conditions like high humidity and heavy rain which favours the growth of rubber crops in this hilly terrain. Ezhmattor is the village which has the highest cultivation of rubber. This village is also a part of Pathanamthitta district.
Due to the increase in demand rubber plantations are spreading across many districts in Kerala. If coconut was a major income of Keralites, the situation has changed a lot these days. The major reason for the boom in rubber industry is only because of the increase in number of cars each and everyday. But now a set back have arisen due to the insufficiency of tapping workers. Another problem is that the non-availability of land for expanding the cultivation. Also the unrestricted import of rubber from other countries is growing as a great challenge in the rubber cultivation.
Price of Rubber
The price of rubber can be done domestically and internationally. Its been estimated by SICOM, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur on international basis and Kottayam, Kochi, Rubber Marketing Federation, Indian Rubber Dealers Federation on domestic basis. It has fluctuating values which depends upon global market conditions. The following links provide the price of rubber every now and then. It gives the price of rubber on daily, weekly and monthly basis.
For training related to rubber contact
Rubber Training Institute,
Department of Training,
Rubber Board PO, Kottayam-9, Kerala, India.
Pin: 686 009.
Phone: 91-481-2353127, 2353168, 2351313,2353325, 2353201
Contact Person: Director (Training)