The Export Development Board (EDB) together with Plantation Industries Ministry, Rubber Development Department (RDD) and Rubber Research Institute (RRI) will be organizing a series of workshops to give the smallholder farmers the necessary awareness and knowledge on productivity improvement through adaptation of modern technology in the year 2019.
As a resource-based technologically sophisticated industry with global linkages, rubber industry plays an important role in Sri Lanka’s economy. Its center of gravity has shifted rapidly to value addition from raw rubber production. This transformation needs to be nurtured and managed and consolidated to optimize benefits.
Rubber is the second most important plantation crop in Sri Lanka in terms of export earnings and employment generation. The rubber production of Sri Lanka has reduced over past decade due to changes in weather patterns, managerial inefficiencies, low productivity and lack of technology been applied in planting, tapping, etc.
Compared with global standards, Sri Lanka ranks low in terms of most productivity measures. Land productivity or latex yields in rubber plantations of Sri Lanka are below world averages.
The smallholder rubber farmers contribute considerably to the total rubber production of the country. However their production has reduced considerably due to inefficiencies in managing the cultivations, low productivity and lack of application of technology which has resulted in low yield and high cost of production.The resource personnel for the workshop and the content development will be done by the RRI.
The RDD who is working closely with the EDB and the RRI will be involved in the follow up activities with the support of their Rubber Development Officers.A material package will be given to the participating farmers as an incentive. Tapping knives and chemicals will be provided by the RDD and the RRI respectively. The tapping head lights will be donated by Camso Loadstar (Pvt) Ltd, one of the major rubber products manufacturers &exporter using Sri Lankan natural rubber.
The EDB is planning to organize the 2nd workshop in this regard in the Monaragala district to continue awareness on productivity improvement among the rubber small holders in collaboration with the Ministry of Plantation Industries, RRI and RDD.