Rubber growers need replanting subsidies, says India’s tyre industry body

The organisation representing India’s tyre makers has called upon its national government to encourage rubber replantation and offer rubber growers subsidies to plant new trees. According to news published by the Press Trust of India, the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA) wants these measures implemented in order to address the reluctance of growers to plant new trees, which can’t be tapped for their first six to seven years. Without encouragement, the ATMA fears growers will continue to tap older, lower-yielding trees; the association comments that this practice is profitable for growers due to the high prices natural rubber currently commands.

“Growers need to be encouraged to re-plant with higher re-plantation subsidies,” wrote the ATMA in a statement. “Since NR prices have come off from their peak levels currently, growers will be more receptive towards re-plantation initiative of the Rubber Board.”

The ATMA’s recommendations will be discussed at the next meeting of the working group set up to formulate a National Rubber Policy for India. The association believes prompt action is essential, as any delay will severely impact the long-term interests of both rubber producers and consumers. As a rubber tree only produces at maximum yield for about a decade before its yield begins to decline, the ATMA views a future reduction in natural rubber output in India as a very real risk.

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