By Nyein Nyein
Government’s subsidy is a requisite for small-scale rubber farmers to survive in the industry, said U Khaing Myint, secretary of Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association (MRPPA). Those small-scale rubber farmers account for 92 per cent of rubber plantation in Myanmar.
“We need the government’s subsidy for the small-scale rubber farmers to survive in the crisis. They constitute 92 per cent of rubber plantation. They need contribution and technical assistance to maintain quality. The government’s support in the respective parts are vital of importance for the survivals of them,” he pointed out. At present, the COVID loan provided by the government to the coronavirus-stricken businesses does not cover the small-scale rubber farmers, he added. “Those farmers do not meet criteria in accessing the COVID loan. So, they are excluded from it,” he said. Therefore, the MRPPA has requested the government to support contributions to the farm owners separately. There are over 1.6 million acres of rubber plantations in Myanmar, and 80,000 of them can be produced latex. Over 200,000 tonnes of rubber raw materials are exported to external market per year, generating an income of US$200 million.
At present, Myanmar Natural Rubber Quality Testing Lab was set up at the Commodity Testing and Quality Management Division (Hlegu Township) of the Consumer Affairs Department under the MOC. The lab will soon to issue the certificate after testing rubber quality, the association stated. The raw rubber fetches K700 per pound in the local market. (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)