Agartala, India: The Rubber Board, India, collaborated with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to conduct satellite imagery surveys to discover potential areas of natural rubber cultivation in India. “The year-long satellite-based imagery study being conducted jointly by the Rubber Board, ISRO and RRII (Rubber Research Institute of India), a wing of the Rubber Board, is firstly being done in Tripura,” additional rubber production commissioner K.G. Mohanan told News Track India.
He said, “After getting the outcome of the survey, expected to be known in two months, the satellite imagery survey would be conducted in other parts of India to learn the prospective area of natural rubber cultivation.”
India is now ranked sixth in terms of area (711,560 hectares) of rubber cultivation in the world, first in productivity (1,760 kg per hectare), second in consumption (0.90 metric tonnes per year) and fourth in production (831,400 metric tonnes in 2009-10).
In India, rubber is traditionally grown in Kerala and Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu while seven northeastern states, excluding Sikkim, are categorised as non-traditional areas for rubber cultivation.
“About 450,000 hectares of land is currently suitable for rubber cultivation in the seven northeastern states of India. The region has produced 41,200 MT of natural rubber in 2010-11 fiscal from 113,685 hectares of land being currently cultivated,” Mohanan added.
Tripura is the second largest natural rubber cultivating state in the country after Kerala with around 60,000 hectares of land under cultivation and producing about 26,000 tonnes of natural rubber in 2010-11. India’s second industrial rubber park has been set up recently in Bodhungnagar in western Tripura to boost the country’s elastic polymer industry.
Source: News Track India