The trend to use natural rubber would have a positive effect on the natural rubber market which had been on the decline due to the world economic crisis, said Plantation Industries Minister D.M. Jayaratne.
The subsidies and concessions granted under the direction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has created a good atmosphere for rubber cultivation despite the world economic downturn.
Minister Jayaratne was speaking at a media conference to explain the program to mark the centenary celebration of the Rubber Research Institute (RRI) held recently.
The Minister added that the Government has introduced a guaranteed price scheme for rubber to counteract the declining prices of latex in the local market. Under this scheme, the Government is paying a subsidy of Rs. 20 per kg of rubber from last February.
Commending the development of research activities of the RRI, Minister Jayaratne said the research sector in rubber cultivation and manufacturing is at a very advanced level when compared with other developed countries in the world.
“State-of-the-art technology which had been applied to rubber research could develop the harvest of latex from 2,500 kg to 3,000 kg per hectare. Alternative fertilizer introduced for rubber plantation played a significant role in cutting down cost and foreign exchange spent on imported fertilizer, the Minister stated.
As a result of research conducted by local rubber technologists, our crepe rubber is about the best quality in the world.
It was a good achievement gained by us to compete in the world rubber market, Minister Jayaratne added.