July 10 (IANS) Planters in Kerala are a happy lot with the soaring prices of natural rubber which are hovering around an all-time high of Rs.182 a kg as demand from the automobile industry is far outstripping the supply.
K.G. Thomas, a retired state government employee, says this is a moment to cherish. You wait and see, it will soon touch Rs.200.
I own eight acres of rubber plantation, which I inherited from my father. I began cultivation of rubber in 1973. I have never had to look back all these years with my rubber plantation. Even when prices were rock bottom, when many cut down rubber trees and planted coco beans plants, I held on and will do it till the rest of my life, said Thomas.
India stands fourth in the list of global producers of rubber with a nine percent share. Kerala accounts for 81 percent of the rubber production in the country.
Production of rubber in Kerala jumped from 580,000 tonnes in 2000 to 691,000 tonnes in 2005. In 2009, it reached 783,000 tonnes.