Philippines Joins ANRPC Rubber Producers’ Organisation
For the past forty years the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) has served as an organisation acting in the interests of governments of natural rubber producing nations. As of 30 November 2009 the organisation contained ten members – the governments of Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam – and (according to 2008 figures) represented the producers of 94 per cent of global natural rubber production. The organisation has now grown to include the Republic of the Philippines.
The Philippines joined the ANRPC on April 26, 2010, and in terms of rubber output is the third smallest producer out of the eleven member nations. Rubber occupies about 130,000 hectares of land in the Philippines, and from an estimated 40 million mature trees the country now annually produces 420,000 tonne of latex in wet weight, which is approximately equivalent to 125,000 tonne of dry rubber content. In comparison, Thailand, the ANRPC member with the largest output, produced 3.16 million tonnes of dry rubber in 2009. Smallholders dominate the sector in the Philippines and account for nearly 90 per cent of the total output.
The Philippines has a large area of land potentially suitable for the cultivation of rubber, however a relatively longer gestation period, low yield, tenurial problems, limited access to credit, weak linkages with key players in the marketing chain are some of the constraints identified as hindering the further development the country’s natural rubber industry. With a view to addressing these issues, the Philippines government has implemented a ‘National Rubber Development Programme’, which aims at expanding the area of cultivated land to 500,000 hectares and improving the average annual yield from the present level of around one tonne per hectare to two tonnes per hectare by 2016.