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Rubber industry to revive with comprehensive master plan

22 November 2015 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
The troubled rubber industry will soon receive fresh focus with the Plantations Industries Ministry having conceptualized a comprehensive master plan that would be executed with a number of competitive and operational strategies.The Rubber Industry Master Plan 2015 – 2014, which aims to revive and develop the sector, is to ensure the landscape will stand tall to become one of the key revenue contributors to the nation’s economic development. “If we can implement the rubber master plan that we have conceptualized, the long-term sustainability of the industry can be looked into seriously. And this is a priority. It envisages nine goals that would help the industry reach heights,” expressed Plantations Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake confidently to Mirror Business.
The top three goals of the master plan is to capture a 0.5 percent share of the global market, along with gaining a 1.5  percent share of the global natural rubber (NR) market, and ensuring at least 85 percent of locally produced rubber will undergo a value addition process Set out to kick off the new year with a strong drive, the industry will be pushed to expand its production to 300,000 metric tons per year by 2045, by increasing the area under rubber to 169,000 hectares by 2025.The ministry looks forward in establishing a ‘Rubber City’ or a ‘Rubber Industry Park’ by 2018 that would help in achieving the goal of reaching a plantation yield of 1,700 KG/hectare by 2045. In the more medium term, measures will be taken to ensure the rubber products industry exceeds US $ 5 billion by 2030. This is hoped to be achieved by increasing the consumption by 240,000 tons by 2025. Furthermore, the ministry aims at attracting investments and developing new markets for latex crepe rubbers by 2020, and increasing the value of rubber wood-based products to reach a turnover of US $ 350 million by 2025.It is hoped the industry will reach a conversion value equal to US $ 15,000 per ton of rubber used by 2025.
Not leaving out the smaller players, steps would be taken to double the contribution of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to industry turnover by 2025.To ensure the mission realizes its set goals and objectives, it will be essential to develop common hard and soft infrastructure facilities. This is to make certain the value-added industry embarks on the next cycle of growth and reaches a sustainable competitive status in respect of customer value, sophistication, profitability and productivity. Strengthening and consolidation of the supply side will take place with the development of a secure supply line comprising of highly productive smallholders rubber farms and estates.The ministry said it will strive to provide an enabling policy, along with institutional and investment support to ensure the industry moved towards a positive growth trajectory.
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