Sunday, June 4, 2023

NE MITRA to expand rubber plantation

North East Mission of Tyre Industry for Rubber Augmentation (NE MITRA), a project jointly promoted by Rubber Board of India (RBI) and Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA), will expand rubber plantation in Nagaland.
In an exclusive interview with Nagaland Post, RBI Dimapur regional office deputy commissioner Ramachandran D disclosed that India was a natural rubber (NR) deficit country where gap between production and consumption had been increasing of late.
As a measure to bridge this gap, he revealed that National Rubber Policy (NRP) envisaged self-sufficiency in NR production through area expansion and replanting of crops of less economical value.
He mentioned that new planting of rubber had reached near saturation in traditional plantation regions like Kerala and in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, while vast areas were still available in the North-eastern States for expansion of rubber cultivation
As further expansion of rubber plantation was required in the Northeast, particularly in Nagaland, Ramachandran mentioned that NE MITRA intended to increase production of natural rubber by accelerating new planting and replanting of rubber in the region. He said the project was being implemented for five years (2021-2026).
Elaborating on the project, Ramachandran stated that NE MITRA targeted to cover 1,000 hectare in 2021-22, which had been successfully achieved, benefiting 872 beneficiaries.
He mentioned that NE MITRA was targeting 2,500 hectare of rubber plantation in 2023-24, while acknowledging the hard work and dedication of beneficiaries who contributed immensely towards making the project a success.
Referring to NE MITRA, he informed this reporter that under the project, a guarantee plan would be formulated and RBI would consider free supply of planting materials and other plantation inputs for implementation by utilising its fund sourced through ATMA.
On eligibility criteria, he pointed out that individuals owning rubber plantation area not exceeding 20 hectare would be eligible for assistance under the project, and that assistance would be limited to two hectare of new planting/replanting in a year per beneficiary.
He, however, added that in absence of sufficient number of applicants, area up to five hectare would be considered with prior approval of rubber production commissioner.
He thus encouraged interested individuals to avail the scheme by approaching RBI during office hours at Nepali Basti area of Dimapur, or contact deputy commissioner on 79946 22439.
On receiving of application from the beneficiary and after ascertaining the genuineness of the application, he said the board would give planting materials and release the subsidy payment directly.
According to Ramachandran, RBI started its operation in Nagaland with a field station in 1986, which however shut down after a few months. It was later reopened in 1989 and upgraded to regional office in 2003. He said the regional office currently had two field stations – one at Niuland under Dimapur district and the other at Sanis under Wokha district.


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