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Monday, 11 April 2016
The rubber is a flexible industrial raw material for many rubber based industries. There are more than 50,000 products make from rubber. We use varieties of rubber products in every steps of our daily life. Counting from Hawai chapel, boots, shoe, tube-tyre, surgical gloves, door mate, swing gums, wire, vehicles parts etc numerous rubber products or parts we used are the source of rubber. But you may think that from where this significant raw material is obtained? There are two sources of rubber, one extracted from petroleum, called synthetic rubber and another from tree Hevea brasiliensis, called natural rubber. Varieties of clone derived from Hevea are used for rubber cultivation. So rubber can also be obtained from tree. But it was remain mystery till late 19th century, natural rubber was entirely collected from wild forests, especially in South and Central America. It was introduced to tropical Asia and Africa by the efforts of the British Government during the later part of 19th century. The tree is now grown in the tropical regions of Asia, Africa and South America.
Although rubber is widely used as raw materials in rubber base industries, but there are nine countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Cambodia, can produce natural rubber in the world. India is also one of among them and climbed into sixth position in the world. India have 7, 96,000 ha. rubber area till the year 2014-15. Average yield per hector was 1,576 kg/annum in India and produced 7, 04,500 tones from its 4, 47,000 ha. matured (productive) rubber area in the year 2014-15. There are only few states contain suitable land for rubber cultivation in India. Apart from few south Indian states, all the states of northeast India except Sikkim, possessed more or less suitable land for rubber cultivation. In south India, Kerala, some parts of Tamilnadu, and some area of Odisha, Andaman Nicombar and Goa suitable for rubber cultivation. As per the official record of Rubber Board India, there is about 4.5 lakh hector area potential for rubber cultivation in northeast India. Assam has two lakh hector suitable land for natural rubber cultivation. As per record, about 50000 ha. land already covered by natural rubber in Assam and becomes third largest rubber planted state in India. Tripura contain one lakh ha. land suitable for rubber cultivcation and about 75,000 ha. area already planted and becomes second largest natural rubber planting states in India. It is very miraculous that commercial use of rubber in India was started in Assam in 1798. Long before the introduction of the Para rubber in India and other South East Asian Countries, indigenous rubber yielding trees, Assam rubber were tapped on a commercial scale in Assam. But the organized attempts of rubber planting were initiated by government agencies during the 1960 in some northeast states. The first large scale rubber planting started by Tripura government in 1963. The Soil Conservation Department of Mizoram, Meghalaya and Assam also started planting during the same period. A public sector undertaking, Tripura Forest Development and Plantation Corporation Ltd. was formed in 1976. The Soil Conservation and Forest Department in other states also took up rubber planting during that period.
Till the year 2013-14 about 1.5 lakh ha. area planted by natural rubber in northeast India. Assam has planted about 48,000 ha.; Tripura 75,000 ha.; Meghalaya 14,000 ha., Mizoram 2,000 ha.; Arunachal Pradesh 4,500 ha.; Nagaland 12,000 ha. and Manipur 5,000 ha. till the year 2014-15. The annual production of natural rubber in northeast India was 63,690 tonnes in 2013-14 and approximate value of earning was Rs. 650 crore. There are about 2 lakh small holdings with an average 0.80 ha. land of rubber plantation and more than one lakh manpower has been engaged in the natural rubber plantation sector in the region. There are about three lakh ha. potential land yet to be planted and having immense scope to generate 02 lakh employment opportunities and about Rs. 4,500 crore annual income in a year from natural rubber plantation in northeast India in coming years.
Production of natural rubber in northeast states is increased along with the increase of extension of rubber cultivation. There was total 38,600 tonnes rubber produced in 2009-10 and it grows up to 64,000 tonnes in 2013-14. Tripura has alone produced 25080 tonnes in 2009-10 and it’s reached 39,000 tonnes in 2013-14. The production of natural rubber was 7,071 tonnes in Assam during the period of 2009-10 and it’s reached 13,600 tonnes in 2013-14. Meghalaya has produced 4,545 tonnes in 2009-10 and it’s reached 7,570 tonnes in 2013-14. Production of other northeast states was 1,904 tonnes in 2009-10 and it’s raised up to 3,520 tonnes in 2013-14.
The prices of dry rubber are fluctuating according to the policy of domestic and international rubber market. During the period of 2009-10, average market price of 100 kg RSS-4 dry rubber was Rs. 11,498.00 in India and during the period about Rs.266.29 crore entered into farmer’s pockets in northeast region. The price was growing up to Rs. 20,805.00 till 2011-12 in per 100 kg and recorded the highest price hiked in natural rubber history. Then northeast rubber farmers were able to earn about Rs. 630 crore during the period of price hiked. But the price has grown down to Rs.17682.00 per 100 kg in 2012-13 and it’s again decreased to Rs. 16,602.00 in 2013-14.
Northeast region is considered as one the most favourable zone for natural rubber cultivation. This zone already been identified that about 4.5 lakh ha land suitable for rubber cultivation. Out of this figure only 1.5 ha land covered by rubber cultivation. There are about 2 lakh small holdings having an average 0.80 ha. rubber plantation. There are more than one lakh manpower are engaged directly or indirectly in natural rubber plantation sector in northeast India.
If the remaining suitable land will cover by natural rubber plantation in the region, there are immense opportunities for employment and the strengthening of rural economy in future. In northeast region, about three lakh ha. suitable land still not using for natural rubber cultivation. If this size of land will wrap up by natural rubber plantation, there is vast opportunity to resolve permanently about 3.5 lakh families and more than two lakh manpower can be engaged in natural rubber plantation sector. And there is a great extent to bring approximate value Rs. 4,500 crore annually to the farmer’s hand.
It has been noticed that the farmers of remote villages of Northeast region pay no attention to about any modern technologies move into farming sectors. Besides this, they are very poor in conditions and they cannot procure required materials for the improvement of their traditional farming mechanism. Jhuming is their traditional cultivation practice and even now a major portion of hilly tribal’s they are practicing jhum cultivation. But due to the rapid increase of human population, over exploitation of forest produces, un-scientific use of land and some others issues farmers are demotivated towards the farming activities. So cultivation of natural rubber can be suggested for the farmers for sustainable livelihood. Government may be taken a long term plan and vision for the scientific expansion of natural rubber cultivation in potential zones. The Rubber Board India, central government organisation was set up for the all-round development in natural rubber plantation sector. A group of enthusiastic staff of Rubber Board, Indian rubber plantation sector today reached in a pleasing position and make India almost self sufficient of its need. But as per the farmer’s require, this organization needs more empowerment, facilities and financial support from the central government. Recently this Board is under sky-scraping stress of financial catastrophe. Owing to inference of fund by the central government, many plantation development schemes more or less fall down. The marginal farmers who will be needed little financial support from government now onward will be deprived from it. Many marginal farmers need financial supports from the board and the schemes were the key motivational strategy towards the rubber growers since the Board’s formed. But unexpectedly falling down the existing policy will harm to the farmers. Prime minister of India has taken hundreds of schemes for the development of northeast India, but how this potential sector is deleted from his list rather surprised to the farmers. If expansion of rubber cultivation and development can include as a part of prime minister “Make in India” project, surely it will be unbeaten development in rural areas of the region which will promote proper engagement of manpower, employment and setting-up of rubber base industries.
Monday, 21 March 2016
Protection of rubber plants from the severe summer forms the main cultural operation during March.
Ensure that the shades provided to the young plants are intact and sufficient, to provide enough shade during the summer season.
If necessary, provide irrigation to the nursery plants in the morning and evening. If enough irrigation to drench the nursery beds can be given, watering may be limited to once a week. Very large nurseries can be divided into several plots and irrigated in cycles to cover each plot at least once a week.
Pruning of young shoots from the main stem on budded plants should be done using a sharp knife. All off - shoots arising within 2.4 meters from the ground level in both seedlings and budded plants have to be pruned taking care not to affect the growth of the plants by removing too many leaves. When pruning is done in the early stages there is no need to apply wound dressing compound. No branches should be allowed to grow
in the stem region where tapping panel has to be opened later.
Dried seeds of cover crop (Pueraria) is collected during this period.
Rainguarding enables tapping of the rubber trees in the rainy season. Fixing rain guards on rubber trees should be initiated before the commencement of rainy season during the month of March-April, so as to enable tapping in the following rainy season. The most popular and cheapest method of rain guarding is use of polythene sheets. Polythene sheets of 300 gauge, 45 cm wide cut to size to cover the tapping panel and the cup used for collection of latex are fixed to the trees using pins and paste just above the tapping panel. Leaving 10 cm on either side of the panel, scrape the bark in a 4 cm wide band, 10 cm above and parallel to the tapping panel to make it smooth. Apply the paste (Bitubest or Polystik) thickly on the scraped area. Then fix the polythene sheets of sufficient length, over the bitumen paste. Press a rough cloth band cut 2 cm wide with sufficient length onto the top of the polythene sheet and fix it to the bark using stapler pins. Apply another coat of the paste over the cloth band in order to prevent entry of water inside the polythene sheet and into the tapping panel.
In order to control the leaf spot disease on the seedlings in nurseries, Bordeaux mixture 1% or Indofil / Dithane M 45 (2.5g / l) may be applied.
Saturday, 2 January 2016
As the rainy season is over, young rubber seedlings in the nursery should be irrigated in the morning and evening. Irrigation, sufficient to drench the nursery, once in four days is enough. In large nurseries, the area may be divided into different quarters and irrigated on rotation. Polybag plants also should be irrigated preferably in the evenings.
Leaf diseases rubberboard.org.in
Summer season is favourable for occurrence of Corynespora leaf spot disease in young rubber plants. Several small and large spots appear initially on the leaf surface which later join together resulting in shot holes and the leaves fall off when severe. Spraying of 1% Bordeaux mixture or Dithane (Indofil) M45 0.2% can effectively control the disease. The intensity of the disease can be reduced by providing shade in the nursery.
Another leaf disease occurring in young rubber plants, during this period is the birds eye spot. This disease can also be controlled by the fungicide mentioned above.
Powdery mildew disease
As many of the plantations are in the initial stages of refoliation, during this period, occurrence of powdery mildew disease is common. It can also be intense in polybag grown plants. Misty days and intermittent rains of low intensity forms the ideal condition for the spread of this disease. Initially tender leaves develop white fungal spots which later turns into ash colored powdery spots. Affected tender leaves gets dried up and drops off after curling. Under favorable climate repeated incidence of the disease may occur.
Application of 11-14 kg 325 mesh size Sulphur dust, 3-5 times at an interval of 7-14 days from the time of sprouting of leaf buds in at least 10 % trees in the plantation till the wintering is over will effectively control the disease. Sulphur is available as a mixture with talc powder in a 70:30 ratio. Dusting should be done using tree dusting machines. Sulphur dust can be most efficiently applied in the early hours of the days when the leaves remain wet due to presence of dew, which favour sticking of the dust on the leaves.
For seedlings and polybag grown plants, wettable suphur at the rate of 10 g in 4 liter water can be applied using sprayers, at an interval of 7-10 days. An alternative is the applications of Carbendazim (Bavistin) 0.05% solution (1 g in 1 litre water). Wettable sulphur and Carbendazim may be applied alternatively for more effective disease contorl.
From the second year of growth till the canopy covers, application of lime on the brown stem portion from the bud union up to the first fork is advised in order to protect the stem from sunburn. Copper sulphate need not be added in the preparation of lime solution. Application of lime is more effective than application of china clay.
Branching of the rubber plants up to a height of 2.5 m should not be allowed. As the tapping commences at a height of 1.25 m in budded trees, any branching below this height will create difficulty for tapping. Hence branches up to this height should be pruned off close to the main stem, using sharp knives.
As the plantations are more prone to fire damage in summer season, precaution be taken against it from the beginning of the summer season itself. A fire break (fire belt) should be provided around the plantation for a width of 5-7 meters by clearing off all plants and dried leaves in this area. As the defoliated leaves may keep on accumulating in
Mulching of small rubber plants using dried leaves, grass or cover crop is recommended before the onset of dry season to prevent loss of soil moisture from the plant base, to increase the soil organic matter content and to control the growth of weeds. It may be done at a distance of 5-7.5 cm away from the base of the plant.
If the rainguards fixed on the trees for the rainy season has not been removed till now, it should be removed. If tapping shades are used they should be carefully removed to prevent any damage so that they can be reused next year.
Shade in nurseries
To prevent drying of polybag plants during the severe summer season, nurseries should be provided with partial shade with plaited coconut leaves which allows partial sunlight for the growth of the plants.
If the crop production during the summer season is found to be economical, no tapping rest is needed during this period and tapping may be continued once in three days
Santalum album or Indian sandalwood is a small tropical tree, and is the most commonly known source of sandalwood. This species has historically been cultivated, processed and traded since ancient times. Certain cultures place great significance on its fragrant and medicinal qualities. The high value of the species has caused its past exploitation, to the point where the wild population is vulnerable to extinction. Indian sandalwood still commands high prices for its essential oil, but due to lack of sizable trees it is no longer used for fine woodworking as before. The plant is widely cultivated and long lived, although harvest is viable after 40 years
The height of the evergreen tree is between 4 and 9 metres. They may live to one hundred years of age. The tree is variable in habit, usually upright to sprawling, and may intertwine with other species. The plant parasitises the roots of other tree species, with a haustorium adaptation on its own roots, but without major detriment to its hosts. An individual will form a non-obligaterelationship with a number of other plants. Up to 300 species (including its own) can host the tree's development - supplying macronutrients phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium, and shade - especially during early phases of development. It may propagate itself through wood suckeringduring its early development, establishing small stands. The reddish or brown bark can be almost black and is smooth in young trees, becoming cracked with a red reveal. The heartwood is pale green to white as the common name indicates. The leaves are thin, opposite and ovate to lanceolate in shape. Glabrous surface is shiny and bright green, with a glaucous pale reverse. Fruit is produced after three years, viable seeds after five. These seeds are distributed by birds.
Distribution It is a hemiparasitic tree, native to semi-arid areas of the Indian subcontinent It is now planted in India, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Northern Australia.
S. album occurs from coastal dry forests up to 700 m elevation. It normally grows in sandy or stony red soils, but a wide range of soil types are inhabited. This habitat has a temperature range from 0 to 38 °C and annual rainfall between 500 and 3000 mm.
The species is threatened by over-exploitation and degradation to habitat through altered land use; fire, agriculture and land-clearing are the factors of most concern. To preserve this vulnerable resource from over-exploitation, legislation protects the species, and cultivation is researched and developed.
The Indian government has placed a ban on the export of the timber.
S. album has been the primary source of sandalwood and the derived oil. These often hold an important place within the societies of its naturalised distribution range. The high value of the plant has led to attempts at cultivation, this has increased the distribution range of the plant. The ISO Standard for the accepted characteristics of this essential oil is ISO 3518:2002. HPTLC and GC, GC-MS based methods are used for qualitative and quantitative analyses of the volatile essential oil constituents. The long maturation period and difficulty in cultivation have been restrictive to extensive planting within the range. Harvest of the tree involves several curing and processing stages, also adding to the commercial value. These wood and oil have high demand and are an important trade item in the regions of:
Sandalwood oil has been widely used in folk medicine for treatment of common colds, bronchitis, skin disorders, heart ailments, general weakness, fever, infection of the urinary tract, inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, liver and gallbladder complaints and other maladies. Recently, the in vivo anti-hyperglycemic and antioxidant potentials of α-santalol and sandalwood oil were demonstrated in Swiss Albino mice. Additionally, different in vitro and in vivo parts of the plant have been shown to possess antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, possibly attributed to sesquiterpenoids, shikimic acid, etc.