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Scheme for Sustainable & Inclusive Development of Natural Rubber Sector

  • 22 Feb 2024
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Polyisoprene. Sustainable & Inclusive Development of Natural Rubber Sector, Natural Rubber, Rubber Producers Societies (RPS).

For Mains: Sustainable & Inclusive Development of Natural Rubber Sector, Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country.

Source: PIB

Why in News?

The financial assistance for the Rubber sector under the ‘Sustainable & Inclusive Development of Natural Rubber Sector (SIDNRS)’ has been increased by 23% from Rs 576.41 crore to Rs 708.69 crore for the next 2 financial years (2024-25 and 2025-26).

  • The government has also announced plans to set up three nodal Rubber Training Institutes in the Northeast to promote the development of rubber-based industries in the region.
  • It will also promote the formation of Rubber Producers Societies (RPS) for the empowerment of rubber growers.

What is Sustainable & Inclusive Development of Natural Rubber Sector (SIDNRS) Scheme?

  • About:
    • The SIDNRS scheme is an initiative by the Government of India to promote the sustainable and inclusive development of the natural rubber sector in India.
      • The SIDNRS scheme was launched in the FY 2017-18.
    • It is implemented by the Rubber Board, a statutory body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Objectives of the Scheme:
    • To improve the productivity and quality of natural rubber production.
    • To promote the adoption of sustainable rubber production practices.
    • To improve the income and livelihoods of rubber growers.
    • To create employment opportunities in the rubber sector.
    • To promote the development of the rubber-based industry.
  • Components of the scheme:
    • Subsidy for Replanting Old and Uneconomic Rubber Trees: Financial assistance provided to rubber growers for replanting old and uneconomic rubber trees with high-yielding and disease-resistant varieties.
    • Promotion of Intercropping: Financial assistance provided to rubber growers for intercropping rubber with other crops such as pineapple, banana, and cocoa. Intercropping helps to improve soil fertility, conserve moisture, and provide additional income to rubber growers.
    • Support for Capacity Building: Training and extension services provided to rubber growers on best practices in rubber production, processing, and marketing.
    • Development of Infrastructure: Financial assistance provided for the development of infrastructure facilities such as roads, water harvesting structures, and processing units in rubber-growing areas.
    • Promotion of Rubber-Based Industries: Financial assistance provided for the establishment and expansion of rubber-based industries such as tire manufacturing, footwear manufacturing, and latex processing units.

What are the Key Facts Related to Natural Rubber?

  • About Natural Rubber:
    • Natural rubber is a versatile and essential raw material derived from the latex or milky sap of certain plant species, primarily the rubber tree, scientifically known as Hevea brasiliensis.
      • This latex contains a complex mixture of organic compounds, with the primary component being a polymer called polyisoprene.
    • It was introduced to tropical Asia and Africa by the British Government during the later part of the 19th century.
  • Growing Conditions:
    • Tropical climate with annual rainfall of 200 – 450 cm is suited for cultivation.
    • It requires deep and lateritic fertile soil with an acidic pH of 4.5 to 6.0 and highly deficient in available phosphorus.
    • Minimum and maximum temperature should range from 25°C to 34°C and 80% relative humidity is ideal for cultivation.
    • Regions prone to heavy winds should be avoided.
    • Bright sunshine amounts to about 2000 hours per annum at the rate of 6 hours per day through all the months.
  • Rubber Production and Consumption:
    • India is currently the world’s 6th largest producer of natural rubber while it also remains the second biggest consumer of the material globally (after China).
      • Thailand is the world’s leading natural rubber producing country (accounting for approximately 35% of global natural rubber production in 2022).
    • In South Asia, India holds the 4th-largest position following Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
    • About 40% of India’s total natural rubber consumption is currently met through imports.
  • Rubber Distribution:
    • As of now, India has approximately 8.5 lakh hectares of rubber plantations.
    • Major rubber producing states include: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Assam.
      • The lion's share of this rubber farming, nearly 5 lakh hectares, is concentrated in the southern states of Kerala and the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.
      • Additionally, Tripura contributes around 1 lakh hectares to the rubber production landscape
  • Major Applications:
    • Automobiles: Rubber is a key component in tire production due to its excellent grip and wear resistance. Used in seals, gaskets, hoses, and various components for vehicles.
      • The main use of natural rubber is in automobiles. Nearly 65% of natural rubber is consumed by the automobile industry.
    • Footwear: Commonly used in shoe soles for its cushioning and slip-resistant properties.
    • Industrial Products: Found in conveyor belts, hoses, and machinery components.
    • Medical Devices: Used in gloves, syringe plungers, and medical equipment.
    • Consumer Goods: Used in products like balloons, erasers, and household gloves.
    • Sporting Goods: Found in items like tennis balls, golf balls, and protective gear.

What is the Rubber Board?

  • The Rubber Board is a statutory organisation constituted under Section (4) of the Rubber Act, 1947 and functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • The Board is headed by a Chairman appointed by the Central Government and has 28 members representing various interests of the natural rubber industry.
    • The Board’s headquarters is located at Kottayam in Kerala.
  • The Board is responsible for the development of the rubber industry in the country by assisting and encouraging research, development, extension and training activities related to rubber.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. Which one of the following groups of plants was domesticated in the ‘New World’ and introduced into the ‘Old World’? (2019)

(a) Tobacco, cocoa and rubber
(b) Tobacco, cotton and rubber
(c) Cotton, coffee and sugarcane
(d) Rubber, coffee and wheat

Ans: (a)

Q. Match List-I with List-II and select the correct answer using the code given below the Lists: (2008)

List-I (Board) List-II (Headquarters)
A. Coffee Board 1. Bengaluru
B. Rubber Board 2. Guntur
C. Tea Board 3. Kottayam
D. Tobacco Board 4. Kolkata

Code: A B C D

(a) 2 4 3 1
(b) 1 3 4 2
(c) 2 3 4 1
(d) 1 4 3 2

Ans: (b)

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