Prospect of rubber plantation in NE region with special reference to the state of Tripura

Jun 17 2010

By Achintya Kumar Sinha

(This paper was originally presented in a seminar-cum-workshop on ‘Saving soils and croplands’ organized by the Soil Conservation Department of Assam at Guwahati on 27th August 2007. However, the attached slideshow was presented recently to a delegation from Andhra Pradesh on rubber in Tripura with special reference to tribal rehabilitation. This provides some updates on the 2007 article.)

1. Introduction:
Hinterland of South West coastal region of India, the traditional rubber belt, has reached saturation level in area coverage; and all one may try there is to enhance productivity. That, however, will not be enough. Rubber is a versatile strategic raw material. Its demand both domestic and global has been growing much too faster than increments in production. Thailand and Malaysia, two major producers, are likely to export less of it as years roll by owing to their rapid industrial growth. For India, which is taking giant leaps in the industries sector, its non-traditional area for rubber cultivation is now in focus. North East India is emerging as one of the most important rubber-growing zones outside the traditional belt, and the scope is enormous. Governments and the people of North East India should leave no stones unturned to seize this unique opportunity for economic emancipation.

2. Agro climatic requirement

2.1. General: Commercial Rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis grows wild in the Amazon basin and adjacent areas of Brazil. Important climatic requirements within the tropics for commercial cultivation of rubber generally are well-distributed high rainfall with no pronounced droughts; mild and short winter, high humidity and free from strong and prolonged seasonal winds.

2.2. Ideal: Climate, physiography and soil for optimum growth and yield for rubber may be briefly described as below:

Rainfall : Annual- 2000-3000 mm; evenly distributed.
Temperature : 210 - 350 C
Humidity : 70 to 95 % throughout the year
Wind : Strong seasonal winds for prolonged periods lead to stunted growth of young trees. Severe storms snap and uproot mature trees.
Elevation : Below 450 m above MSL
Slope : Gently undulating topography with slope between 50 to 150
Water table : Well below 100 cm
Soil : Depth 100 cm or more; well drained & of medium texture


2.3. Adaptability: Rubber is adaptable to a wide range of agro-climatic conditions. Deviation in respect of rainfall, temperature, humidity and wind affect growth and yield, but the adverse impact from variations to a limit can in most cases be moderated through management intervention. That it is so is demonstrated by the generally good performance of rubber in Tripura and elsewhere in the Northeast.

3. Major rubber growing regions of the world :

Rubber has been predominantly grown in two major types of tropical climate:
a. Equatorial monsoon climate: The region between 100 North and South latitude comprising most of the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, southern parts of Sri Lanka and some other islands
b. Dry and wet monsoon climate: The Indian Subcontinent, Northern Sri Lanka, coastal Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippine archipelago and Southeastern Indonesia.

4. Rubber in India, Kerala dominates: European planters introduced commercial cultivation of rubber in 1902 at Thattakad in the erstwhile Travancore State. It has been traditionally cultivated since then largely in Kerala and Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu, which receive abundant precipitation from both the southwest and northeast monsoons. Non-traditional areas found suitable for rubber cultivation despite varying degrees of limitations are hinterland of coastal Karnataka, Goa, Konkan region of Maharashtra, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, Siliguri area of West Bengal and the low elevation regions of the Northeastern states excluding Sikkim. Out of 615,000 ha of rubber plantation in the country, Kerala alone accounts for 502,000 ha.

5. Rubber in NE India
5.1. History : Large-scale planting of rubber commenced in the Northeast in 1963 with plantations in degraded forestland in Tripura as a soil conservation initiative. Soil conservation departments of Mizoram, Meghalaya and Assam took to planting rubber near about the same time. Low elevation regions of the Northeast, with the sole exception of Sikkim, with near tropical climatic features soon emerged as the principal rubber growing zone outside the traditional belt in the country, with Tripura turning out to be the second largest rubber growing state in India.

5.2. Area breakup: State wise break up of area coverage till 2006-07 against potential area determined after exploratory survey by the Rubber Board and other agencies like the National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land use Planning is as below:


State

Geographical area
(km2 )

Target for rubber
(ha)

Area planted
(ha)

Coverage
(%)

Arunachal Pradesh

83743

25,000

445

1.8
Assam 78438 200,000 15850 7.9
Manipur 22327 10,000 1862 18.6
Meghalaya 22429 50,000 5570 11.1
Mizoram 22081 50,000 519 1.0
Nagaland 16579 15,000 2574 17.2
Sikkim 7096 0 0 0
Tripura 10486 100,000 35760 35.8

Total

263179

450,000

62580

13.9


5.3. NEC sets target for expansion: 3rd Summit and Special meeting of the North Eastern Council (NEC) in March 2007 considered the need for doubling the area under rubber in the NE over a period of 10 years from 2007-08, and the Rubber Board accordingly prepared a project report for planting of rubber over 60,000 ha:

New planting of rubber proposed for Northeast States (ha)


State

XI Plan

XII Plan

Total

Tripura

12400

16250

28650
Assam 6700 10000 16700
Meghalaya 2725 3750 6475
Nagaland 1050 1500 2550
Manipur 650 1000 1650
Mizoram 625 1000 1625
Arunachal Pradesh 850 1500 2350

Total

25000

35000

60000


The target is proposed to be achieved through Block plantation, a special programme for economic rehabilitation of tribal people in NE and through corporate and individual growers. Rubber Board implemented the Block Plantation scheme during the Xth Plan in Tripura with 50% contribution from the State Government, 43% from Rubber Board and 7% from beneficiaries. This scheme is proposed to be extended to Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya during the XIth Plan period.

6. Rubber in Tripura

6.1. Initiation: Rubber plantation was raised for the first time in Tripura in 1963 by the State Forest Department. Rubber Board responded by opening its first (one-man) office in NE at Agartala in 1967. Tripura Forest Development & Plantation Corporation Ltd. (TFDPC), a State Government Undertaking established in 1976, adopted rehabilitation of degraded forests through rubber plantation as its primary objective. The State Government transferred 10,000 ha of degraded forestland on a long-term lease to TFDPC for raising rubber plantation. Rubber Board up graded its one-man set up at Agartala to a Regional office in 1979 for extension and training.

6.2. Tripura Forest Development & Plantation Corporation Ltd (TFDPC)

a. Largest Rubber Plantation Unit
: It is a premier profit earning public sector company of the Government of Tripura and is the largest rubber plantation unit in the country with more than 11000 ha of rubber plantation. The Latex Processing factory of TFDPC produces annually around 1000 MT of high value Cenex (latex concentrate) and other by-products.

b. Rubber wood: TFDPC commissioned a Rubber Timber Processing Unit in 1999 at Negicherra near Agartala with financial assistance from the Indian Council for Forest Research & Education. Its capacity was gradually increased from 500 cum per annum to the current level of 2000 cum. Treated rubber wood from the unit has a ready market now and the demand has been rising. A Furniture Manufacturing facility was set up in the unit and it has been producing high-end as well as utility furniture for schools on a fairly large-scale. A Common Facility Centre for automatic semi knock down furniture for producing world-class furniture is now on the anvil.

c. Rehabilitation through rubber: TFDPC implemented a project for rehabilitation of 100 tribal shifting cultivators through rubber plantation at its Warangbari Plantation Centre in West Tripura under a centrally sponsored scheme. The families worked on payment of wages for establishment of their own plantation with the hope of a good earning from sale of latex on maturity. The project caught the imagination of the planners as well beneficiaries. The Warangbari experience was the precursor for establishment of another public sector undertaking, Tripura Rehabilitation Plantation Corporation Ltd. (TRPC) in 1983. It was set up with the primary objective of economic rehabilitation of tribal shifting cultivators, tribal landless and small farmers mainly through rubber plantation. This rehabilitation model was utilized mutatis mutandis by the Tribal Welfare Department, Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) and finally by the Rubber Board in its highly acclaimed Block Plantation scheme.

6.3. TRPC in tribal rehabilitation on rubber plantation:

6.3.1. Funding of plantations
: Creation of plantation during the first phase of TRPC project was supported by bank loan of Rs.75.66 lakh under NABARD refinance scheme. 1064 ha of rubber plantation was raised with that loan for 709 beneficiaries during 1983-84 to 1987-88. The entire loan with interest was paid back. A loan of Rs.173.82 lakh received under the World Bank Aided Rubber Project was utilized for raising 924 ha of rubber plantation for 720 beneficiaries during 1993-94 to 2000-01. Rs.247.78 lakh against the principal amount and interest was repaid and the disputed claim for an additional repayment of Rs.42.58 lakh was referred to an Arbitrator. The plantations for rehabilitation of tribal, for rest of the time, were funded under the annual plan schemes of the Tribal Welfare Department, Rural Development or Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council.

6.3.2. The plantations: TRPC created 6079 ha of rubber plantation since 1984 season for 4945 tribal beneficiaries. The plantations raised initially had in general rather a limited success rate. There were cases of desertion and large majority of the failed areas fell victims to grazing and fire from shifting cultivation areas. Certain plantations were abandoned due to problems of free access. The area actually maintained and utilized in 2006-07 was 4509 ha. The picture changed rather fast after some beneficiaries started earning from sale of latex to TRPC. They found the job of tapping much less strenuous compared to farm labour or shifting cultivation, and that the engazement was at the most for two hours a day for a single member of the family was an added attraction.

a. Average earning of TRPC beneficiaries against supply of latex & scrap


Year

Area tapped (ha)

Beneficiaries

Production (MT)

Sale proceeds (Rs./lakh)

Paid to beneficiaries

Average per beneficiary
(Rs./pa)

2003-04

921

1335

917

491

270

20,250/-
2004-05 1044 1396 1036 474 363 25,989/-
2005-06 1182 1514 1585 930 507 33,458/-
2006-07 1264 1564 1828 1176 950 60,758/-


The table shows a quantum jump compared to Rs.10,000/- per annum that a family of five in Tripura could expect to earn in cash and kind from shifting cultivation and that too after backbreaking labour of the entire family.

b. Productivity level in rehabilitation plantations under TRPC


Year:

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

National average

Production per ha (Block) in kg:

996

992

1341

1446

1879


6.4. Rubber, the most important Plantation crop in Tripura: Rubber has now attained the status of the most important plantation crop in Tripura not merely because of its commercial success, but more so due to its innovative application for economic rehabilitation of shifting cultivators, which delivered generally a degree of success in a manner hitherto not experienced in any rehabilitation package on un-arable uplands.

6.5. Rubber for economic rehabilitation of tribal communities in Tripura


Agency

Till 31/03/2006

2006-07

Target 2007-08

Area

Beneficiary

Area

Beneficiary
TFDPC 2915 2413 247 247 160
TRPC 3964 4367 545 578 600
TTAADC 1521 NA 0 0 300
Block Plantation by Rubber Board 3047 2651 204 204 150

Total:

11447

9431+

996

1029

3209

Area in ha

6.6. Agency wise break up of Plantation in Tripura as in March 2007


Agency Area in ha

1. TFDPC 11344
2. TRPC 4509
3. Block Plantation 3251
4. Individual growers 12880
5. Others 3776

Total:

35760


It may be mentioned that as per Rubber Board statistics (provisional) the total area planted to rubber in Tripura till 2006-07 is 39,095 ha. The area of 35,760 ha shown above indicates the estimated area actually maintained or utilized.

6.7. Rubber area & production in Tripura
Of the total 35760 ha of rubber plantation in the state, 11500 ha was under tapping during 2006-07 producing around 20,000 MT of raw rubber. A dateline is shown hereunder:


Particulars

Position as on

21st January 1972
(Statehood day)

March 1998

March 2007

Area under rubber

103 ha

25780 ha

35760 ha
Area under tapping 0 11500 ha 19958 ha
Annual production 0 10000 MT 20000 MT



6.8. Productivity: Productivity rose from 200 to 300 kg per ha per annum during 1970s to the present average of 1000 kg plus per ha per annum against the national average of 1879 kg. Some better-managed plantations in the state have reached production of 1800 kg per ha per annum. Around 35000 ha will be under tapping five years hence with an annual production of upwards of 35000 MT of raw rubber in the state.

6.9. Utilisation of rubber produced in Tripura
Around 18000 MT out of the total production of 20,000 MT of rubber during 2006-07 was sold to traders based in Kolkata and Guwahati. There is scope and potential for establishment within the next 3-4 years of a medium sized manufacturing unit for bi-cycle and scooter tires in the state.

6.10. Tripura Rubber Mission- Nodal Agency for rubber sector in Tripura

Tripura Rubber Mission (Mission) was constituted in January 2006 by the Government of Tripura as an interdepartmental coordinating body headed by Dr. VK Bahuguna, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Tripura with the object to increase the coverage under rubber cultivation in Tripura to 85,094 ha during 2006-07 to 2025-26 and to ensure scientific management of rubber plantation for sustainable development. The Mission has the mandate for planning and coordination and to organise funding, capacity building and monitoring to achieve the Mission target.

Area dedicated to rubber plantation in Tripura in 2005 was 33220 ha, and out of that maintainable area was 29120 ha. Mission’s Action Plan envisaged further extension of rubber plantation over 51894 ha to reach 85094 ha in twenty years from 2006-07:

a. Degraded forestland: 26874 ha
b. Non-forest land including private holdings: 25000 ha
Total: 51874 ha

6.11. Chase the target but with caution
The Mission decided to proceed with caution in pursuing the ambitious target for expansion of rubber in Tripura with due regards to both ecological considerations, on which the debate is still alive, and the demand on the limited land for alternative productive use, e.g. for medicinal & aromatic plants, bamboo, horticulture, nature tourism, etc. etc.

7. Institutional issues associated with rubber in NE region

7.1.
Minimalist presence of Rubber Board

NEC and Rubber Board intend to double the area under rubber in the NE over a period of 10 years from 2007-08. Rubber Board’s establishment and presence in the NE region is, however, inadequate to support the activity even at Xth Plan level. The Board has only 9 regional offices, 3 for the 4 districts of Tripura and 6 for the rest of the Northeast, scanty by any reckoning. Strong extension support is essential for cultivation and management of a sophisticated crop like rubber, and more so in a remote non-traditional zone like NE. The number of field level Extension Officers in the NE region actually came down from 41 in 1997 to 24 in 2007. Substantial strengthening of the Board’s extension & training facilities as well as R&D would be essential for the proposed extension of scientific rubber cultivation in this remote non-traditional belt.

7.2. Financial assistance from Rubber Board
Cost of raising and maintenance of rubber plantation till maturity for Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya at Rs.73,100/-, Rs.88,970/- and Rs.100,770/- respectively are very high. Assistance for new planting during the Xth Plan were too low as below:

Planting grant: For holdings up to 5 ha - Rs.20,000/- per ha
For holdings above 5 ha and up to 20 ha- Rs.16,000/-
Cost of planting material: Rs.8/- per plant (maximum Rs.4000/- per ha)

There is a proposal to raise the planting grant to Rs.22000/- per ha and to provide Rs.4000/- per ha for transportation of plantation in puts. It would be difficult to achieve the ambitious target of 60000 ha unless the subsidy level is raised to 50% of costs. Production of rubber would meet a strategic need for the country’s rapid industrialization. More over the returns from rubber plantations in the NE region would be substantially lower than that from the traditional areas for a variety of reasons including climate. State Governments of the NE region may under the circumstances take up the matter with the Government of India for enhancement of subsidy to 50% of costs for rapid expansion of rubber in the region.

7.3.Training facilities
Existing facilities in the Northeast for training of small growers, tappers and supervisory personnel would require considerable expansion and strengthening to match the enhanced level of activity. Training of Trainers (ToT) for implementing officials of Government departments, public sector undertakings and other implementing agencies would help in supplementing Rubber Board’s training programmes. Similar initiatives in Tripura of late produced encouraging results. TRPC and TFDPC joined the Rubber Board in organizing training programme for implementing officials of District Administration.

7.4.
Genuine planting material
Rubber Board had a system of approval of rubber nurseries in 1990s. There is immediate need for re-introduction of a system of certification of rubber nurseries and their periodic and surprise inspection by authorized officers of the Board. The Board may explore the possibility to introduce penal provisions for fraud, as the problem has been reaching alarming levels.

7.5.
Insurance for mature rubber plantation
Rubber Board used to administer an insurance scheme jointly with the National Insurance Company for mature rubber plantations as in the case of immature plantation. The scheme for mature plantation was withdrawn since 2001 for the NE region, although it continues in the traditional area. TRPC started a dialogue with both the Rubber Board and the National Insurance Company to re-introduce an appropriate insurance scheme for mature rubber plantation of the NE region.

7.6.
Rubber cultivars for NE region
There is need for dedicated long term research to evolve location specific high yielding stress tolerant rubber clones suitable for the NE region.

7.7. Crop management
NE region is far away from the traditional belt of rubber and has several limitations both climatic and socio-economic. There is an immediate need to evolve farming models to ensure income from land during the long gestation period. TRPC in Tripura has of late introduced a combination of various legumes and tuber crops as intercrop in rubber. TRPC and Rubber Research Station in Agartala initiated a collaborative research project to evaluate the performance of Winged Bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) vis-à-vis Pueraria phaseoloides and Mucana bracteata as a cover crop, as Winged Beans has the potential to produce nutritious edible tubers under immature rubber plantation.

There is need for evolving suitable strategy and model by use of other tree species to minimise damage to rubber plantations from tunneling winds. Shelterbelts are sometimes made in Tripura but on an ad hoc basis, and that needs standardization without conflict with the criteria for release of financial assistance by the Rubber Board.

8.
Other problems associated with rubber in the NE region

8.1. Long gestation period
The long gestation period of 6 plus years is a serious deterrent for most growers, particularly for the small and marginal farmers. It is essential to develop appropriate location specific farming models in the NE incorporating intercropping for additional income during immaturity as a part of the rubber plantation scheme. Rehabilitation schemes for weaker sections of the people should include creation of opportunities for income during the immaturity period as a mandatory component.

8.2. Stray cattle
Stray cattle are a menace for young rubber plantations in Tripura and elsewhere in the Northeast. Hundreds of hectares of plantations suffered serious damage and some had been completely wiped out in Tripura due to grazing during the first two years of planting. Effective fencing involves very high costs and the subsidy @ Rs.1500/- per ha for bamboo fencing and Rs.4000/- for barbed wire fencing is too inadequate. The problem is of late more serious in Tripura as Muli bamboos have been disappearing due to gregarious flowering.

8.3. Short supply of fertiliser
Short supply of fertilizer has been a perennial problem for rubber plantations of the NE states particularly Tripura. Muriate of Potash (MoP) was not at all available from the Rubber Board In Agartala during 2006-07. Neither it was available from other sources as the country depended on import for MoP. This vexed problem needs immediate attention of the Government for effective resolution.

8.4. Huge requirement of fuel wood
Northeast for a long time hence will have to process rubber latex to sheets for marketing, as a large majority of the growers are small farmers. About 4 cubic meters of fuel wood is consumed to produce 1 MT of dry and smoked rubber. In Tripura alone the requirement against production of 20000 MT would be 80,000 cum of fuel wood. The countryside is fast loosing their tree cover and of course the regular forestlands are also affected. Use of biogas with effluents from latex processing facilities for thermal application has been introduced in a few Rubber Producer Societies, but most rubber processing facilities of the corporate bodies and individual farmers do not have them due to a mix of lack of awareness, funds, and difficult to get implementing agencies. TRPC has approached Tripura Renewable Energy Development Agency and the Rubber Board for such installations and some response has been received from the Board. Biogas plants will also solve the rather obnoxious environmental problem of foul smelling polluting effluent from latex processing facilities.

8.5. Faulty tapping
Faulty tapping is a serious problem particularly in the plantations raised for tribal beneficiaries. Quite a few of them engaze paid untrained labour for tapping, as the family members trained for tapping would like to avoid the daily chore. The malady arises usually when a beneficiary family starts earning good money from sale of latex. Moreover, one-time training on tapping evidently was not enough, and TRPC received encouraging results from one-day refreshers’ course organized with Rubber Board technicians and expert tappers identified and so designated from the corporation’s own beneficiary families. Such expert tappers are paid honorarium of Rs.200/- per day of training.

9. Rubber an opportunity par excellence for the NE region

9.1. Demand of natural rubber on the rise

Prospect and potential of rubber in the NE region is undisputed despite the challenges mentioned above. Projections by the Rubber Board shows a gap in 2008-09 of 13000 MT between consumption and production of natural rubber and 68000 MT in 2011-12, that is more than five times in three years. Estimated production in 2020-21 in India is 10.97 lakh MT and consumption, 14.36 lakh MT leaving a deficit of 3.39 lakh MT. Global production of rubber would grow only marginally during the next few years according to the Association of Natural Rubber (NR) Producing Countries. The fast pace of industrialization in Thailand and Malaysia, two major NR exporters, would result in lesser surplus for export. International Rubber Study Group (ISRG) forecast indicates that global production of NR would grow @ 2.4% annually during 2005 to 2009 vis-à-vis rise in consumption @ 3.7%. As a result the global supply of NR during 2009 would be short of demand by 2.28 lakh MT. Indications are that the trend of deficits would continue far longer and according to an ISRG study, NR prices of would continue to rise further in the years to come.

9.2. Forge ahead full steam
India needs more rubber plantation to sustain its rapid industrial growth and its Northeast, the most suitable zone for its expansion, can provide that. People of the Northeast despite geographical isolation, weak communication linkage, deficiency of modern infrastructure and associated evils continue to demonstrate tremendous resilience in adversity; unique traits of creativity and sensitivity in artistic pursuits and hunger for excellence in sports and athletics. The vibrant, varied and colourful human resource is the NE’s greatest asset. It is THE time for the State Governments and the people of the Northeast to forge ahead full steam to derive the maximum benefit of this rare opportunity in a manner that is sustainable, and in a manner that reaches the needy.

9.3. Rubber is Good News for NE but back it up with sound planning
While the remarkable potential of rubber for development of the NE region is already demonstrated; there would be hardly any justification to push it through in an unplanned, chaotic fashion. Agro-ecological conditions, present land use and relative markets of products from such land use, local needs and preferences, situational constraints for a demanding crop like rubber, etc. should be appraised before dedicating any land to the rather alien crop of rubber. There are many options, some with tremendous potential, for this resource rich region. The look east policy of the country, better late than never, would open up newer avenues for marketing to farther east a variety of natural and domesticated floral and faunal resources of the region with or without value addition. That is in no way to discourage but to caution that it would be unwise to opt for rubber in all and any piece of available land, and to say, go ahead but back it up with sound planning for the best results.

The author is currently MD, Tripura Rehabilitation Plantation Corporation Limited with additional charge of MD, Tripura Forest Development & Plantation Corporation Limited. Agartala. e-mail: achintyaksinha@gmail.com


rubber

A wealth of information here .

SS's picture

Excellent article by Mr Sinha

Excellent article by Mr Sinha - we need to put a brake on Rubber plantation as its wiping out natural forest and eco system in Tripura. We need economic growth but not at the cost of environment.

Opt for an alien crop if you have to, but with caution

Dear Saumen,

Thanks for the comments. I do agree with your views.

Good sign that bamboo is fast catching up as an alternative plantation crop for Tripura and elsewhere in the northeast.

There are other worthy crop options of indigenous species for commercial plantation in Tripura. Agar and the semi-wild Citrus species Satkara (Heirubok in Manipuri), both indigenous to the state should be as profitable as rubber as a plantation crop with much less of risk.

One ought to weigh available scientific information i/c traditional knowledge while deciding on drastic change in land-use. That NE India is a bio-diversity hot spot and is ecologically fragile should be a part of such considerations.

Wisdom dictates that we treat land, an invaluable resource, with the respect and humility that it deserves.

This is no call for status-quo in land-use but to say, change when you have to with utmost discretion for sustainable good.

Achintya Kumar Sinha

Does rubber plantations impact rainfall?

Thank you for presenting such an article with facts and figures. However, I've a question. Is it true that rubber plantations impact rainfall? In Tripura many people are saying that rainfall reduced due to too much rubber plantation. Hearing the fact from an expert like you will clear the doubts.

Warm regards.

Impact of rubber plantation on rainfall in Tripura

Dear Friend,

I welcome your appreciation for the facts and figures in the paper on rubber in NE India.

I have myself been confronted with this question on reduction in annual rainfall in Tripura owing to large-scale rubber plantation. I had no answer for sure.

I have not so far come across any scientific report endorsing the concern. But, I find it hard to accept that rubber or any plantation would have such impact on rainfall.

Regards,

Achintya Kumar Sinha

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Re : Prospect of rubber plantation in Tripura

Dear Sir,

As it can be noticed that, the number of individual growers are significantly high and is growing, there is a need to bring them under strict vigilance and control of a governing body.

Unplanned cultivation may result in adverse environmental consequences like soil erosion, fire hazards etc. Also, unplanned cutting down of other plants while cultivating rubber may result in adverse environmental effect on the eco-system including endangering wildlife inhabitation.

I hope government bodies like TFDPC, TRPC are already considering above environmental consequences before rubber cultivation.

Need for regulated expansion of rubber plantation in Tripura

Dear Friend,

I fully endorse your concern.

I may inform you that the Govt. of Tripura has created Tripura Rubber Mission for balanced development in the sector - both for plantation and rubber based industries.

Incidentally, the MD, TFDPC is currently the Mission Director (Dr. R.L. Srivastava, IFS- phone-0381-2354763); and MD, TRPC is a member of both the Governing and the Executive Bodies of the Mission.

Regards.

Achintya Kumar Sinha