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Rubber in East assures the perceived benefits; a case study showing increased rubber production, amelioration of the climate and improved rural livelihood

Authors:

V. H. L. Rodrigo ,

Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Dartonfield, Agalawatta, LK
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S. M. M. Iqbal,

Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Dartonfield, Agalawatta, LK
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E. S. Munasinghe,

Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Dartonfield, Agalawatta, LK
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B. M. D. C. Balasooriya,

Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Dartonfield, Agalawatta, LK
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P. M. M. Jayathilake

Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Dartonfield, Agalawatta, LK
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Abstract

With the development of agronomic protocols to cultivate rubber in the prevailing conditions in the Eastern province and identification of land availability, the Ministry of Plantation Industries has launched an accelerated programme to establish 10,000 ha of rubber in this region. In addition to the increased rubber production, improved environment with forest cover and enhanced rural livelihood are expected. Proven evidence is required for the success of the programme; hence, as a case study, this was aimed to assess the potential of achieving the perceived benefits using firstly reached two rubber smallholdings to latex harvesting stage in Helakomana GN division. Latex yields to predict the potential rubber production in the region, changes in crop microclimate and evidence for changes in farmers’ livelihood were evaluated. Basically, this programme has the potential of producing 15,000 MT of dry rubber annually with smallholder participation. A farmer having a hectare of mature rubber receives an average monthly income of about LKR 35,000. Income generated from rubber has empowered farmers to reap the benefits of recent infrastructure development in the region and to meet other family needs. Crop environment has been improved by rubber cultivation with 3.70C reduction in air temperature and moderate level %RH during the day time. This has provided better working conditions for farmers and would have an effect on regional climate once the targeted extent of rubber is grown. Rubber canopy has also protected the surface soil moisture.
How to Cite: Rodrigo, V.H.L. et al., (2017). Rubber in East assures the perceived benefits; a case study showing increased rubber production, amelioration of the climate and improved rural livelihood. Journal of the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka. 94, pp.33–42. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jrrisl.v94i0.1823
Published on 24 Jan 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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