Mon rubber growers face big challenges on top of skillful labour shortage

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At present, Myanmar natural rubber fetched K910 per pound (0.45 kilogrammes) while the price of the ribbed smoked sheet (RSS) hit K920 per pound. According to a rubber price analysis by National Enlightenment Institute (NEI), the prices of rubber are likely to stay high in the next two months, July and August.

The rubber growers from Mon state, which account for nearly half of Myanmar’s production of rubber acres, are being faced with many challenges in addition to the shortage of skilful labour, according to National Enlightenment Institute (NEI).
Although Mon State-owned more than half of the land that can grow well the rubber plants, they are still being faced with many challenges such as lack of skilled labourers, difficulty to purchase equipment and acid couldn’t be purchased easily. There are difficulties to access the good rubber seeds and it will take time to apply to the authorities for the farmlands to be used for other purposes besides many procedures to follow through. Consequently, the rubber growers are faced with unequal quality of rubber, inconvenience in hiring the labour from remote areas and inability to access the loans.
Because of the political changes in Myanmar since February 2021, there are restrictions on nighttime tapping of rubber latex activities.
Besides, the new banking system has made it difficult for rubber traders to pay cash to the rubber growers. As a result, the local growers are struggling with financial difficulties and lower profitability because of declining rubber latex production and having external loans.
At present, Myanmar natural rubber fetched K910 per pound (0.45 kilogrammes) while the price of the ribbed smoked sheet (RSS) hit K920 per pound. According to a rubber price analysis by National Enlightenment Institute (NEI), the prices of rubber are likely to stay high in the next two months, July and August.
The price of rubber has risen as rubber production has declined in the off-season in June, July and August, according to last year’s rubber price data analysis. Hence, the rubber prices are likely to rise in this years’ rubber off-season, NEI reviewed.
Mon State has the largest acreage of rubber plantations in Myanmar, with 498,312 acres of rubber plantations in 2019-2020. It also produces approximately about 240 million pounds of rubber annually. Rubber cultivation is one of the main businesses of the Mon state with 53,370 rubber growers, according to the Mon State Agriculture Department’s 2020 data. — NN/GNLM

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