Kottayam: The Rubber Board, in co-operation with Rubber Producers Societies, has launched an awareness campaign to promote weekly tapping among rubber growers. The programme ‘Weekly tapping, without any yield decrease’ was inaugurated by A Ajithkumar IAS, Chairman, Rubber Board.
The campaign, launched at the Chirakkadavu Model Rubber Producers’ Society, Kanjirappally yesterday is scheduled to be conducted in the traditional rubber growing belt of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka till July 22, 2016.
In the wake of the prevailing low price of rubber, the Rubber Board is advising the growers to adopt weekly tapping, whereby cost of production can be reduced substantially. In rubber holdings, a major share of expenditure is for tapping, and there is a shortage for tappers also. The Rubber Board is presently recommending once in three days tapping for the popular high yielding clones. If a higher frequency tapping is adopted in these clones, there is a chance for trees getting affected by dryness. Even then, majority of rubber growers are resorting to alternate day tapping, against Board’s recommendations.
Now, the Rubber Board is promoting weekly tapping, by which the tapping cost can be reduced by two thirds compared to tapping on alternate days. Weekly tapping, to an extent, is a solution for labour shortage also. A tapper who can tap two blocks in alternate day system can cover seven blocks in weekly tapping.
While adopting once a week tapping, it is necessary to apply a yield stimulant. Ethephon, a comparatively safe plant growth regulator, is used as the yield stimulant. In such a low frequency tapping system with chemical stimulation, it is possible to realize a yield equal to or slightly higher than that in alternate day tapping.
The Board, with the help of Rubber Producers’ Societies will be holding nearly a thousand meetings through which the message will be delivered to one lakh growers.
Kerala Biz News