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RUBBER BOARD NEWS: How skilling/reskilling is transforming the rubber industry
(Last Updated: 31 Mar 2020)




How skilling/reskilling is transforming the rubber industry

G Balachandar  Chennai | Updated on March 10, 2020  Published on March 10, 2020  best replica watches

The skill boost programmes in the rubber plantation sector, which has been attempting to improve the quality and output, have brought in great benefits. Representative image


The skill development initiatives now underway in the rubber industry have brought in tangible benefits, including good increase in productivity in the plantation sector, better safety process for road transport, and a new wave of entrepreneurship.

Rubber Skill Development Council (RSDC), a sector-specific skill council for the rubber sector promoted by All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA) and Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA) in collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), has been focusing on skill/reskill development & training needs of the plantation, tyre and non-tyre sectors of the industry.tag heuer replica watches

RSDC has been allocated a sum of 250 crore by the Government for a four-year period with a mandate to reskill about 10 lakh people in the rubber industry under project ‘Saamarth’.


The industry has a huge workforce. Other than tyres, all other categories are unorganised. To understand the skill gap existing in the industry, a study was conducted across 21 states in manufacturing and plantation sectors. Following this exercise, RSDC embarked on a massive reskilling programme, under which close to 1.5 lakh people have been trained across plantation, tyre and non-tyre sectors since 2015.


The skill boost programmes in the rubber plantation sector, which has been attempting to improve the quality and output, have brought in great benefits.

“We have found that when we skilled the people in the plantation sector, rubber productivity went up by 16 per cent, which is a significant increase,” Vinod T Simon, Chairman, RSDC, told BusinessLine.

“We just taught the people in the plantation sector about the techniques and processes to keep the product pure. So, a tree which was giving 100 kg, is now giving 116 kg without any additional cost,” he added.

About 45,000 natural rubber plantation workers have so far been certified in 13 southern and north eastern states.

The reskill programme under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY) recognition of Prior Learning Scheme, has been training tyre fitters and tyre mechanics on highways. As 12-13 per cent of accidents on highways are caused by the wrong fitment of tyres, RSDC worked out a reskill programme under which mobile skill vans with machinery and trainers go to their outlets to train and certify them.

“This certification process will improve tyre services and maintenance and proper fitment of tyres, thereby improving safety on roads. Currently, there about 40 mobile vans for the reskilling of tyre fitters. We will have at least two vans in each state to train roadside mechanics,” said Simon.

A total of 50,000 tyre fitters have been reskilled across 21 states.

Tyre companies like Bridgestone India have signed up with RSDC to train people on tyre fitting and repair jobs. The Bridgestone programme alone will benefit over 3,600 roadside tyre fitters.


RSDC has also incorporated an entrepreneurship training curriculum in its programme under which people are enabled to set up their own units. A roadside tyre fitter can set up his own puncture or wheel alignment shop.

“We have an agency to help those people. For these aspiring entrepreneurs, our agency will prepare the project report, arrange finance and handhold them for three months till they settle down. This entrepreneurship focus has helped some people to establish their own small rubber nurseries near the plantations,” he said.

RSDC has affiliated over 50 training partners conducting training across the country, and it has conducted training and certification for 950 trainers and 475 assessors, who are expected to ensure uniform delivery of skilling.

Also, more than 70 per cent of the certified students have been placed/self-employed.

Published on March 10, 2020

Rubber sector facing challenging times ahead

Aravindan  | Updated on November 05, 2019  Published on November 05, 2019

Nearly 60,000 rubber growers in Karnataka have taken up cultivation on around 55,000 hectares in the State   -  THE HINDU


The outlook is not that much optimistic now for both rubber producing and consuming sectors according to Dr. Sawar Dhanania, Chairman, Rubber Board. He was delivering the presidential address at the 179th meeting of the Rubber Board held in Kottayam. The economy world-wide is passing through difficult times and the economic horizon is overcast with uncertainties adversely affecting investor sentiments and consumer confidence. This would have its downbeat effect on all economic and industrial sectors. There could be volatility in natural rubber (NR) market due to weather conditions, currency movements, oil price variations, speculative factors. However, the expectation that developing and emerging economies would recover and would be in a sustained growth path is a consoling factor, he added.

According to Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) world NR production and consumption during the first half of 2019 amounted to 5.85 million tonnes and 6.93 million tonnes respectively, with a deficit of 1.08 million tonnes mainly due to the decrease in production in major producing countries like Thailand, Indonesia and China. Global supply of NR in 2019 is anticipated at 13.81 million tonnes, with a decline of 0.5%.

According to IRSG, synthetic rubber production and consumption during the first half of 2019 remained almost the same as the corresponding period of last year at 7.60 million tonnes and 7.70 million tonnes respectively. This is mainly due to the decline in car production and sales all over the world. Consumption of SR in 2020 is projected to grow by 1.9%, Chairman informed the Board.

Dr. K. N. Raghavan IRS, Executive Director, Rubber Board presented a report on current domestic status of NR. NR production during April-September 2019 was 3.08 lakh tonnes with an increase of 11.2% as compared to the same period last year. The improvement in production was mainly due to the efforts taken by the Board to bring more untapped areas into tapping through adoption of holdings and rainguarding. So far, 2,800 ha of untapped area have been brought under tapping through adoption. Total area rainguarded during 2019-20 comes to 2.5 lakh ha with an increase of 40,000 ha compared to last year.

The production in 2018-19 was 6.51 lakh tonnes, a negative growth of 6.2% as compared to a slight positive growth of 0.4% in 2017-18. The projection of NR production for 2019-20 is revised to 7.30 lakh tonnes. Consumption of NR decreased during April-September 2019 by 7.6% as compared to April- September 2018. During this period, consumption of NR declined from 6,14,040 tonnes in 2018 to 5,67,120 tonnes. Consumption of NR is projected at 11,40,000 tonnes in 2019-20.

Import of NR decreased during April-September 2019 by 13.9% as compared to the same period in previous year and 73% of the import was through duty paid channel. 82.6% of import of NR during April-September 2019 was in the form of block rubber. Import of NR during April- September 2019 is provisionally estimated as 2,57, 943 tonnes. Projection of import of NR in 2019-20 is revised downwards from 5 lakh tonnes to 4.15 lakh tonnes. The stock of NR at the end of September 2019 was 2.96 lakh tonnes.

Published on November 05, 2019


Rubber Board hopeful of rubber being kept out of RCEP purview

A top official of the Rubber Board is hopeful that the crop will be kept out of the purview of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

Replying to the queries of rubber growers on RCEP’s impact on the crop at a meeting organised by the Karnataka Rubber Planters’ Association (KRUPA) here on Friday, KN Raghavan, Executive Director of the Rubber Board, said natural rubber has been kept out of the purview of all trade agreements till now.

Noting that natural rubber attracts an import duty of 25 per cent, he said the Rubber Board has been asking the government to ensure that the crop is kept outside the purview of the RCEP.


Quoting the example of the ASEAN agreement, he said four major rubber-growing countries — Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia — are part of it. There was sufficient pressure to bring rubber under the purview of the ASEAN deal when it was signed. But the Indian government did not succumb to it.

The RCEP negotiation is not in the public domain and therefore nothing can be ascertained, he observed. “But the stand that has been consistently taken is that any measure that includes rubber will cause a lot of financial strain and even penury for 13.2 lakh rubber farmers who depend on this crop. That is very clearly brought to the notice of the government. I am sure that the government will consider that,” he said.

Stating that the negotiators from India always ensured that rubber remained outside the purview of talks, he said: “We are confident that this time also it will be so. So far there has not been any problem on that front. I would say — don’t worry about that right now.”

KRUPA’s demand

Referring to the demand of the Karnataka Rubber Planters Association (KRUPA) to extend minimum support price for rubber growers in Karnataka, Raghavan said the Board will try to follow it up with the Karnataka and Central governments. Though the Board had made an effort earlier in this regard, it did not materialise. “We will again take up this matter with the government,” he said.

Published on October 18, 2019





Rubber Board launches mobile app for daily rubber prices


Rubber Board’s Rubber Trade Info app is available on Google Play

The Rubber Board has launched a new mobile application, ‘Rubber Trade Info’, to collect natural rubber (NR) prices everyday.

The objective is to upgrade the present price collection system and increase the data source. The strengthening of data source will increase the precision of price collection in the future, said a Rubber Board release. The Board has developed the mobile app for the Android platform with the help of the National Informatics Centre, it added.

Since 1970, the Board has been collecting NR price from the data sources of dealers, processors, manufacturers, brokers and agents from the Kottayam and Kochi markets. The published price is an indicative/benchmark price that different stakeholders in the NR supply chain can use. The NR value chain, comprising growers, rubber production societies (RPSs), dealers, processors, manufacturers and policy makers, uses daily price information for arriving at sale and purchase decisions.




Rubber growers can seek information on the adoption of rubber plantations and Tapper Banks, from Rubber Board Call Centre from 10 am to 1 pm on August 21, 2019. E.V. Rajeevan, Development Officer, Rubber Board will answer the queries from rubber growers on 0481 – 2576622.

New Rubber Board Chairman


Sawar Dhanania took charge as Chairman of the Rubber Board on Monday. He has been a member of the Rubber Board since May 2017. Dhanania did his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and took Ph D in rubber technology from IIT, Kharagpur. He took up his family business of manufacturing rubber goods for supplying to the Indian Railways and later started manufacturing bicycle and rickshaw tyres. He has co-authored many papers in peer reviewed journals.


"Rubber" magazine is a monthly publication of the Rubber Board of India, in regional language.The target audience is the rubber farming community. This is part of the extension activities for keeping rubber farmers updated with scientific practices. The magazine reaches around 100,000 farmers every month.



Rubber Board hopeful output to improve; consumption up 9 per cent

Import of NR shot up 24% in 2018-2019. About 70% of this was through the duty-paid channel and 81% was in block rubber form.

The Rubber Board is hopeful that the domestic production of natural rubber (NR) will improve in the current fiscal. The consumption of the commodity went up 9% during the last fiscal while the production had been below expected levels.

The consumption of NR has increased from 11,12,210 tonne in 2017-18 to 12,11,940 tonne in 2018-19, according to the board. However, NR production in the last fiscal had been below expected levels, admits KN Raghavan, chairman and executive director, Rubber Board of India.
“This was due to excessive rain and floods, and consequent high-level of incidence of abnormal leaf fall disease.” Raghavan was delivering the presidential address in the 178th meeting of the rubber board in Kottayam on Friday.

A new high-yielding, cold and disease tolerant hybrid clone — RRII 429 — had been ready for commercial cultivation in Northeast states after completing the mandatory field tests, chairman said. According to provisional estimates, NR production in 2018-2019 was 648,000 tonne, which is 6.6% lower than that in the previous fiscal.

“NR production for the current fiscal is projected at 750,000 tonne, taking into consideration the increase in tappable area from 640,000 hectare in 2018-19 to 665,000 ha in 2019-20, measures that the rubber board is taking to buoy rubber production and the continuation of RPIS (Rubber Production Incentive Scheme) in Kerala in 2019-2020,” Raghavan said.



Dr. K.N. Raghavan IRS took over charge as the Executive Director of the Rubber Board.    He was working as Principal Commissioner of GST and Central Excise, Mumbai Central. 

Dr. Raghavan, a native of Kochi, completed his MBBS from Calicut Medical College in 1988. He joined Indian Revenue Service in the year 1990.    He served the Government in various capacities which include Commissioner of Customs Kochi, Deputy Director, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Calicut; Managing Director of Kerala Co-operative Rubber Marketing Federation; CEO, Co-operative Medical College, Kochi and CEO of NORKA ROOTS.  He was First Secretary (Commerce) in High Commission of India, Singapore.  He was also an international cricket umpire and authored several books in the field of cricket, history etc.


Rubber sector seeks govt help

Our BureStakeholders in the rubber value chain have sought urgent intervention by the Union Commerce Minister for the grant of an additional fund of 50 crore to the Rubber Board in the current fiscal itself considering the financial crisis being faced by the Board.

Representatives from the growing, processing, manufacturing and trade sections pointed out that small growers, who account for more than 90 per cent and of growers depend on small rubber holdings as their lone source of income, have been adversely affected by the financial crisis in the Board, especially due to the accumulation of replanting arrears.

In a representation to Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, they pointed out that planting subsidy arrears totalling 25 crore have been processed but could not be disbursed due to lack of funds. The emerging situation has is creating a lot of hardship for growers, who are already in a crisis triggered by the fall in rubber prices.


Sibi J Monipally, representing the Indian Rubber Growers Association and a member of the Rubber Board, said that the present financial crisis was the result of a sharp reduction in the outlay of the board year after year.

The Rubber Board had planned its activities over the years based on the approved outlay and the shortage in allotment has not only affected the board’s functioning but also stakeholders in the sector, who look to the board for guidance, he added.

The other stakeholders are Upasi, ATMA, Latex Processors of India, and the Indian Rubber Dealers  Kochi | Updated on March 28, 2019  Published on March 28, 2019

Govt reducing support for Tea Board

Government support for the Tea Board of India is shrinking, with total allocation being approximately 250 crore, an official said.

“The Tea Board is working under the backdrop of shrinking government financial support. The Board also labours under the burden of high administrative costs, with more than 70 crore per year being spent on employees and maintenance of infrastructure, out of a total allocation of approximately 250 crore,” non-executive chairman of the board PK Bezbaruah told PTI.

Thus, he suggested, one of the focus areas of the Board over the next few years would be to reduce administrative costs by up to 10 crore per annum, while many cost-cutting initiatives are already on the anvil.

“In my opinion, the thrust areas of the Board relating to the tea industry should be on exports through incentivisation of exportable variants of tea, like orthodox, organic and speciality teas.”

The Board should attempt to get the incentive for production of such variants tripled from the present level, he said.

Increasing domestic consumption through generic promotion of tea should also be considered as a priority area, Bezbaruah, the second time non-executive chairman, said

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Project Saamrath aims to train 10 lakh personnel

 The Rubber Skill Development Council (RSDC) has launched Project Saamrath, which is aimed at skilling, upskilling and reskilling 10 lakh personnel involved in the rubber sector, by 2020.

Over 10 lakh personnel are involved in NR (natural rubber) plantation work and the requirement of skilling is huge for increasing production and productivity.

The Council has joined hands with the Rubber Board in upskilling the growers. The Rubber Board has expertise in spearheading the skilling drive in NR plantations, said Vinod Simon, Chairman, RSDC.

The training is being provided under the Recognition of Prior Learning Scheme of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana across natural rubber plantations, tyre services and rubber manufacturing.

The training is provided for jobs such as Latex Harvest Technician (tapper), Rubber Nursery General Worker, Rubber Processing Technician—Rubber Sheeting and General Worker Rubber Plantation, among others .

Skilling of the tapper is important as an unskilled tapper may adversely impact the yield and damage the rubber tree. In Kerala many holdings are believed to have been left untapped owing to the shortage of skilled tappers.

Published on March 21, 2019

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