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National Rubber Mission will Fulfil Domestic Demand, says Rubber Board

North-East Mission of Tyre Industry for Rubber Augmentation (NEMITRA) is a five-year project that aims to develop 2 lakh hectares of rubber plantation in the North-East and West Bengal. The project's planting has already begun in June 2021.

Shivam Dwivedi
Rubber Board has already developed seven high-yielding clones, two of which are only available in the North East.
Rubber Board has already developed seven high-yielding clones, two of which are only available in the North East.

The Rubber Board is finalizing the details of a National Rubber Mission to ensure that the country's domestic natural rubber requirements are met. The Rubber Board and the rubber consuming industry are still concerned about the domestic production-consumption gap in Natural Rubber. At the moment, imports account for 35% of domestic demand.

KN Raghavan, Executive Director, Rubber Board, spoke as a guest speaker at the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) managing committee meeting, saying a National Rubber Mission is in the works to produce enough NR within the country to meet domestic industry demands while minimizing imports.

According to Raghavan, the National Rubber Mission aims to establish new rubber plantations on 5 lakh hectares, with a focus on non-traditional areas.

Satish Sharma, Chairman of ATMA, welcomed the National Rubber Mission's proposal, saying, "Tyre industry is all for verdant NR plantation in the country for producing rubber that is qualitatively superior and competitively priced. Select ATMA members are already collaborating with the Rubber Board on a joint project to develop rubber plantations in the North East. North-East Mission of Tyre Industry for Rubber Augmentation (NEMITRA) is a five-year project that aims to develop 2 lakh hectares of rubber plantation in the North-East and West Bengal. The project's planting has already begun in June 2021."

Kerala and Tamil Nadu are the country's traditional NR plantation areas. Non-traditional regions primarily include the seven North-Eastern states, as well as Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Odisha, and West Bengal.

The National Rubber Mission is expected to be completed between 2025 and 2026. In the current fiscal year 2022-23, nearly 95000 hectares have been identified for planting.

Raghavan clarified that the National Rubber Mission, which aims to plant 5 lakh hectares of new rubber plantation, is in addition to the NEMITRA project. Rubber Board has already developed seven high-yielding clones, two of which are only available in the North East. Ruber, a recently beta-launched electronic market system for trading NR grades, is expected to be a game-changer, according to experts.

The country's current NR plantation area is 8.3 lakh hectares, with a tappable area of 7.2 lakh hectares. Domestic NR consumption was 12.38 lakh tonnes in FY22, compared to 7.75 lakh tonnes produced.

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