Value added rubber products for niche markets
Sri Lanka will export high value added rubber products to niche
markets using natural rubber and will increase export revenue by 50
percent by 2014 achieving a stable supply at low price volatility, said
Dr Shantha Walpalage of the Moratuwa University making a presentation on
the national Action Plan for the Development of the value chain in the
rubber sector organized by FCCISL (SMED)at Galle Face Hotel last week.
She said the identified potential high value product portfolios which
gives high foreign earnings per ton will be based on the expert opinions
made on the present market environment and possible trends. A number of
steps will be taken to develop the sector according to the action plan.
Extension of new rubber plantations to non-traditional areas will be
encouraged and modified high yield clones plants will be introduced for
low yielding low acreage lands.
Introducing new tapping techniques replacing manual tapping with
mechanical devices, setting up societies with central facilities for
manufacture of small latex based articles for domestic market and
conducting awareness programs on good practices of fertilizing are some
of the other measures.
The number of people leaving the rubber industry will be reduced by
securing a proper social status.
The rationale is that this sector could share the experience and
momentum gained by textile and tea sectors.
The rubber industry shows approximately nine percent annual growth
whilst the projection for Asian rubber production made by IRSG is around
a four percent. Sri Lanka records high price volatility compared to
other countries in the region, Dr.Walpalage said.