Deputy Chief Minister, Chowna Mein attended a virtual meeting on Rubber Plantation with the Chief Ministers and Ministers of North Eastern States which was chaired by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal via Video Conferencing on Tuesday.
Mein highlighted the potential of rubber plantations in Arunachal Pradesh. He apprised the Union Minister that due to suitable soil and favourable climatic conditions, all the districts namely, Pakke Kesang, Papum Pare, Lower Siang, East Siang, Lower Dibang Valley, Namsai, Changlang, Tirap, Longding, etc. having plain areas and bordering with Assam have immense potential for rubber cultivation.
He informed that as per a preliminary survey conducted by the Rubber Board, 25,000 hectares of land have been identified suitable for rubber plantation in the state, out of which 4,400 hectares have been brought under rubber cultivation and the remaining 20,600 hectares are available for expansion of rubber cultivation.
Mein further informed that Rubber cultivation which was started in Arunachal Pradesh way back in the 1980s by Rubber Board and Arunachal Pradesh Forest Corporation Ltd can replace the traditional Jhum practices of the tribal communities in this Himalayan State.
“It has also become the centre of attraction for farmers in Arunachal Pradesh when the State Govt launched its Chief Minister Mission Mode Project on Rubber Plantation during 2012-13,” Mein added.
Under the scheme, free supply of planting materials, fencing materials, tools, equipment, transportation cost and maintenance cost up to 3 years for one hectare per beneficiary have been provided, informed Mein.
“The State Govt in collaboration with Regional Office of Rubber Board, Itanagar has conducted numbers of exposure tours for rubber farmers in neighbouring rubber growing areas and has also conducted numbers of training programmes on the scientific plantation and tapping & processing of Rubber. Rubber farmers having matured rubber plantations have been provided smoke house and Rubber Sheeting Roller machine free of cost by the State Govt,” he added.
Mein had further suggested measures for promotion of Rubber plantation, Rubber Quality, Make in India, Farmer Income Augmentation etc for the State to the Union Minister.
Some of his suggestions are:- to encourage the development of Rubber Nurseries within the State by local growers for self-sufficiency in planting materials for further extension of rubber plantations, to consider the supply of manures in recommended doses for the immature plantations having weak growth and for the matured plantations that show a decline in production, free supply of fencing materials up to 5 ha, supply of free rubber sheeting roller machines to a group of plantations located in close vicinity, the formation of Group Processing Centres, free distribution of portable smoke houses and supply of hangers, cups, dishes, acids and other chemicals required for the sheet rubber processing, etc. Opening of Sheet Rubber Trading Centres and establishment of small scale units of rubber products manufacturing such as rubber bands/slippers etc in the feasible areas having functional Rubber Producers Society (RPS) by giving some shares to the RPS which will go a long way in rubber production and setting up of Rubber Industrial Park within the State to help in promoting rubber industry and to boost the local growers.
The meeting was also attended by Secretary, Trade & Commerce, GoAP, Hage Tari and Director of Trade & Commerce, Tokong Pertin.