ERJ staff report (BC)
Colombo, Sri Lanka – In a move to promote rubber cultivation in the country, which has declined drastically over the last forty years, Sri Lanka's Rubber Research Institute (RRI) has introduced a system for growing rubber in domestic gardens, reports the Colombo Page.
According to the RRI, 1,500 families in the Moneragala district and 1,300 families in the Ampara, Vavuniya and Hambantota districts have already joined the project.
Another 340 families in the Agalawatta electoral district are also planting rubber in their gardens.
According to RRI director of, Dr W M G Seneviratne, the country’s acreage of rubber plantations declined immensely in the last forty years, from 214 000 hectares in the 1970s to 121 000 hectares now.
The RRI attributes the decline to the allocation of land for house building, cultivators shifting to other more profitable crops, and a destabilisation of rubber prices.
As a growth promotion measure, the RRI has introduced new varieties of rubber that can be grown in dry zones and a cloned rubber variety that can be cultivated in domestic gardens.
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Full story from Colombo Page