Government to invest Rs. 1.9 billion on rubber industry


The State Ministry of Company Estate Reforms plans to increase the rubber harvest in 2021 by 45 million kilograms and expects an income of Rs. 170 billion through rubber exports.

Secretary to the State Ministry of Company Estate Reforms, Tea Estate Related Crops, Tea Factory Modernisation and Tea Export Promotion, J. M. Thilakarathna Banda said that the Ministry plans to invest Rs. 1.9 billion on the rubber industry this year, focusing on providing subsidies to re-cultivations, new cultivations and fertiliser.

The Ministry concluded preparing the annual action plan of developing the rubber industry, recently in Colombo with the participation of all government stakeholders of the industry. The action plan which runs parallel to the Rubber Industry’s Strategic Plan initiated by the ADB, suggests extending the rubber cultivation by 1,400 hectares.

The Ministry further said, “Rubber Industry is based in the wet zone. However, due to the scarcity of land, we have decided to develop rubber lands in the Ampara and Monaragala districts”.

Pilot projects on cultivating rubber in the aforementioned districts have produced positive results. However, in order to trump adverse climate conditions in the dry zone, a dip water irrigation system has been introduced.

“We are still producing 60 per cent of the local demand for rubber.

As the value added products such as the tyre industry develops in Sri Lanka, we have to cater more supply to fulfil the growing demand,” the Secretary said.

In 2010, Sri Lanka produced 153 million kg of rubber, and the production continued to decrease over the years. In 2020, the total rubber production is reported as 75 million kgs.

Currently the country possesses 136,000 hectares of rubber lands, whereas 68 per cent of it belongs to small holders. The industry provides livelihood for nearly half a million of the country’s population.