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Oct 27, 2021
 
Heavy Rains Damage Rubber Trees in Kerala, India May Bring in Imports
 

The onset of the late monsoon has put many states including Kerala in a huge agricultural crisis. The state once known for its rainfall is now in news for constant floods.

India as an agricultural superpower hence has suffered the most. Kerala a southern state of India is known for being the greatest Rubber producer in India, however, constant rains have plagued the states rubber tapping business heavily.

Rubber Tapping

Rubber tapping is the method of collecting latex from a rubber tree. The latex is gathered by carving a groove into the tree's bark at a depth of one-quarter inch (6.4 mm) and peeling back the bark with a hooked knife. To be tapped for latex, trees must be at least six years old and six inches (150 mm) in diameter.

This latex is later converted into rubber sheets which are then sent for production.

However, if the latex gets diluted due to water it ends up getting washed away and not being able to be used to form rubber sheets.

Impact on India

Last year in 2020 India was able to produce 891000 tonnes however this year due to its greatest Rubber producing state being affected by rains it might result in a drop in the number of products produced.

The lower output might push India, the world's second-largest natural rubber user, to increase imports from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand in the coming months, thereby supporting global prices.

According to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) estimates India produced 67000 tonnes of rubber in September 2021.

Although Trees can be rain guarded typically by using pieces of plastic to surround a tree's trunk above the tapping panel.

The latex still cannot be collected due to the fear of rainwater mixing in and ruining it. This has led the farmers to panic, hence it is of utmost importance for the Govt and the people to come together to come up with plans to combat this sudden change in the weather patterns.

 
 
 
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