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North-East emerging as rubber hub of India

Guwahati: The Northeast is emerging as the rubber hub of India as experts believe that large-scale cultivation of the crop there can meet the shortfall in supply against rising demand. Traditionally, rubber is grown in the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, but increase in its demand for the crop has resulted in search for other regions where its cultivation can be pursued.

Rubber plantation has not expanded to the desired extent in states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra and Odisha where climatic condition supports its growing.

"We beleive that now we have to look to the Northeast to produce more natural rubber," K G Mohanan , Additional Rubber Production Commissioner of the Rubber Board, said.

A survey was launched and it culminated in attempts by the Board to grow rubber in the states of Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, he says.

"Though the agro-climatic condition prevailing in some parts of the region is moderately suitable for planting rubber, it has been proven through experimental plantation that under appropriate agro-management practices, the commodity can be grown as an economcally viable crop," Mohanan said.

As per reports, the Soil Conservation Department of Assam planted rubber in the state as early as 1950s and the first commercial planting of rubber was done by Tripura`s Forest Department in 1963.

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