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Rubber plantation catching farmers` fancy in Arunachal Pradesh (03-08-2015)


Rubber plantation catching farmers` fancy in Arunachal Pradesh  









ITANAGAR: Rubber plantation has of late become the centre of attraction for farmers in Arunachal Pradesh, with the government laying emphasis on the crop over the past few years. 

Days are not far away when rubber would replace the traditional jhum practices of the tribal communities in this Himalayan state as the state government has accorded top priority to the sector for the past several years with separate budgetary allocation. 

For the current financial year, the state government has allocated an amount of Rs 15 crore for the rubber sector.

During 2012-13, under the chief minister`s Mission Mode Programme (MMP) an amount of Rs 2 crore was allocated for rubber cultivation under TFC grant covering 237 beneficiaries. 

The highest allocation of Rs 10 crore was given to the sector during 2013-14 covering 950 beneficiaries while during 2014-15, an amount of Rs 3 crore was allocated covering 270 beneficiaries, Trade and Commerce director Tokong Pertin said. 

He added that assistance in the form of planting materials (720 rubber poly bags and 6 rolls of barbed wire) per beneficiary were provided to a total of 237 units including 26 each in East Siang, West Siang, Lohit, Tirap, Longding and East Kameng and 27 units each in Papum Pare, Lower Dibang Valley and Changlang districts. 

"The state government will closely work with the Rubber Board of India for technology guidance and transfer besides extending marketing facilities," Chief Minister Nabam Tuki said, adding special emphasis would be given on this sector to provide economic benefit to the rural people and employment to the youths. 

"Rubber cultivation will meet 25 per cent of the state government`s five-year job generation target of one lakh," Tuki added. 

Rubber Board`s Eastern Zonal Additional Production Commissioner Anil Kumar said that the board was committed to taking steps to boost rubber cultivation in the state. 

"The opening of Rubber Board`s regional office here and posting of development officer besides a field officer at Namsai office reflected the Board`s commitment to help grow rubber production in the state," Kumar said, adding posting of field officers to potential rubber growing areas of the state was in the offing. 

State Trade and Commerce director Tokong Pertin said that if the state would not provide quality and assured planting materials to farmers by involving the Rubber Board of India, there is every possibility of unscrupulous traders duping farmers. 

"As a rubber sapling is planted, its life span is calculated up to 40-50 years, and in the process, the duped farmers will incur heavy losses both economically and in terms of fertility of their soil," Pertin added. 

The Rubber Board has already identified nine districts in Arunachal Pradesh for rubber cultivation including East and West Siang, Papum Pare, East Kameng, Lohit, Lower Dibang Valley, Changlang, Tirap and Longding having potential for cultivation of rubber in 25,000 hectare as per initial survey. 

Manong Ratan, a progressive rubber planter from Kiyit under Mebo sub-division who availed the benefits of chief minister`s MMP scheme is a happy man today. 

"I am delighted that the state government has ensured to look after the welfare of the small and marginal farmers and it is a big help that the government has assisted us with the requisite rubber sapling and fencing materials. 

"Since we are small farmers, we will need maintenance cost at least up to the fifth year," he said. 

While suggesting the state government to provide maintenance cost to marginal rubber planters, Taba Tagam from Balijan said that with the state`s help, farmers like him have established rubber plantations paving way for self sustainability





(source in Eximbank)
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