India’s growing economy is dependent on factors and rubber industry plays a significant role in this. Rubber is a coherent elastic solid obtained from latex. India is the third largest producer of rubber in the world, only after Thailand and Indonesia, contributing about 9 percent of global rubber production. Rubber tree primarily Hevea brasiliensis is a quick growing tree which finally attains a height of about 20-30 meters in height. The tree takes about 5-7 years after plantation to produce rubber latex. It needs a humid tropical climate with near about 200cm of rainfall distributed throughout the year.
The rate of consumption of rubber has been constantly higher than what produced and our nation is looking forward to stricken this gap, but the loss of interest has made this mission a failure over past few years. The strict climatic condition required for plant growth can be one of the reasons. The rubber tree needs constant amount and bright sunshine at regular intervals and 300 to 450 meters above sea level provides the aptest condition for its growth. Below are some of the top 10 largest rubber producing states in India in 2018.
Table of Page Contents
10. Andaman & Nicobar Islands
The group of islands of the Indian subcontinent have proved their worth when it comes to rubber cultivation. The region provides mediocre climatic conditions good enough to grow rubber trees. This island region has around 880 ha of land under holdings & estate. There has been a gradual drop of land under rubber cultivation but this issue is stable now after people have realised the worth of the latex from these trees.
The small coastal state of India comes next in the list. Many dealers and companies have set up their industry over here and are cultivating Hevea brasiliensis or rubber tree for commercial purpose. The land under cultivation has significantly grown from 875 hectares in 2001 to nearly thousand in recent years. Goa has nearly 1010 ha of land under holdings and estates column for rubber cultivation.
One of the seven sisters of north-eastern states in India, Manipur comes next. Manipur has around of 1829 ha of land under estate & holdings and a total of 2400 ha of land used for cultivating rubber trees and make use of its product i.e. latex. The state provides optimal climatic conditions for its growth and gives the nation one of the finest qualities of raw material for rubber production. Also, the total consumption of rubber in this state is very low, so most of its product goes to the neighbouring states.
Another north-eastern state to make it to the list is Nagaland. In terms of pace & growth and also the high content of latex, Nagaland has been doing much better than any other traditional cultivator state of India. In Nagaland, rubber cultivation is a non-traditional practice. Out of 3515 ha of total land used for rubber tree cultivation, 2500 ha belongs to different holdings and estate.
Another non-traditional rubber producing state to make it to the list is Meghalaya. This northeastern state has 4834 ha and produces 2895 tonnes of latex annually. These north-eastern states have excellent potential for rubber cultivation. Motivational efforts are constantly required to encourage the native tribal groups to have their interest in rubber cultivation. These states lie far outside the traditional zone and hence, they need support from different authorities to promote its growth.
5. Tamil Nadu
Thousands of families in this state depend on rubber and its allied products. Rubber Board in the state of Tamil Nadu is coming forward to lend help rubber plant growers and extend the land under cultivation which is around 19355 ha out of which 18115 ha is under holdings and estate. Rubber produced in Tamil Nadu is of world-class owing to the suitable climatic condition in this southernmost state of the India subcontinent.
Assam has seen a huge increase in the amount of land under cultivation i.e. from 12117 ha in 2001 to 23705 in 2009. This shows that the optimal condition for rubber tree growth has been suitably and greatly utilised over here. Assam, as recorded in previous statistics and analysis, was found to produce around 5000 tonnes of rubber latex, which is a great number. Following such a growth, Assam’s people are greatly benefitted.
Rubber plant growers have recently faced some issue with price crash in the state which created a short-lived panic among cultivators. This has even led to the state not able to capitalise its full potential in the rubber industry. The demand is significantly higher than the total production in the state. But still, Karnataka somehow manages to be in the top 3. The state needs around 57000 tonnes of rubber, of which only 20000 tonnes is fulfilled by rubber produced in the state itself and the rest from other states of the country. Karnataka has 32415 ha of land under rubber cultivation.
The final northeastern state to make it to the list is Tripura. Tripura is the second largest rubber producer in the country. Total area under plantation is 63,223 ha of land. Tripura possesses a vast potential to set-up rubber based industry in the state and is constantly working on it. In 2012-13, total rubber production was 37,339 MT which is huge. The state government runs a rubber park at Bodhjungnagar which has centralised quality control lab, training centre, tool room etc which helps the state to be the second rubber capital of the country.
Kerala stands out to be the largest producer of rubber in the country. But there has been a concern regarding total production which is getting lower every year. In 2001-02, Kerala used to produce 91% of total share of rubber production but is losing its grip and now accounts for just 69% of share. The state produced 4, 55,600 tonnes of rubber in the last fiscal year.
Rubber industry contributes a lot to the India Economy and so the industry should be motivated by both the government and the local cultivators.