Natural rubber is the most important cash crop in Tripura. Since its introduction in 1963 by the State Forest Department, Tripura has become 2nd largest producer of natural rubber in the country, after Kerala, accounting for about 9% of the total production of India. Tripura also has the second largest rubber growing area in the country, after Kerala.
Rubber Plantation is initially taken up as a livelihood generation for the tribal people of Tripura. There are 2 (two) PSUs of the State Government namely, Tripura Forest Development Plantation Corporation Ltd. (TFDPC) and Tripura Rehabilitation Plantation Corporation Ltd. (TRPC) working for growth of Rubber Plantation and Rubber Sector in Tripura.
The State Government has identified rubber plantation as the priority area for livelihood generation and the Industries & Commerce Department, Government of Tripura has declared rubber based industries as “Thrust Sector” for investment.
a. Plantation Characteristics:
- Total area under plantation: 85453.63 hectares
- As per the study of LBSS & LUP, an ICAR organization located in Nagpur under Ministry of Agriculture, the maximum area that can be brought under Rubber in Tripura is 1 lakh Ha only. So, we are almost reaching the saturation point in terms of area.
- 1350 Kg/Hectare, as compared to the Kerala average of 1553 Kg/Hectare.
Number of Rubber Growers: over 1,00,000
b) Production of Rubber in Tripura:
• Total rubber production: 83701.23 MT.
c) Primary Processing of Rubber:
• About 99% of the natural rubber produced in Tripura is processed into different marketable forms like sheet rubber, Indian Standard Natural Rubber (ISNR) / Block Rubber and Centrifuged latex (Cenex).
d) Group Processing Centre:
There are 208 Group Processing Centres (GPC) in the state out of which 96 nos. are in RPS sector. The state-run-corporations, TFDPC Ltd. and TRPC Ltd. have 58 and 54 GPCs respectively.
e) Central Processing Unit:
There are two Central Processing Units, jointly promoted by the RPSs, Downstream Partner & Manimalayar Rubbers. They are constantly producing higher grades of sheet rubber.