Kochi, May 8: Vietnam has targeted to expand its rubber planting areas up to 10,00,000 hectares by 2015 or 2020, Vietnam Rubber Association Secretary General Tran Thi Thuy Hoa said today.
Presenting a paper on 'Rubber Development Porgrammes in Vitenam' at the 'International Conference on Natural Rubber Extension and Development' here, Mr Hoa said the plantations would be developed mainly in central highlands and north-western areas by small holders and private sector.
Vitenam, one of the leading producers of rubber, was expected to produce 1.2 million tonne of natural rubber by 2020, based on the application of advanced techniques in clone selection, planting, up-keeping and tapping, he added.
The rubber tree had been ranked as one of the top perennial industrial crops since 2006 and the total area under rubber cultivation had reached 5,49,600 hectares in 2007, an increase of 6.3 per cent compared to the previous year, Mr Hoa said.
The natural rubber production was 6,01,700 tonne, 9.6 per cent higher than the last year.
Explaining the benefits of rubber plantations, he said it was not only the main source for foreign currency earnings but also a permanent income for planters and source of raw material supply for rubber-based manufacturing industries.
Besides, the rubber tree was also used in national re-forestation project for environmental projects, he added.
As the development of rubber-based industries were encouraging in the country, it was projected that 30 per cent of the total natural rubber produced would be consumed by the domestic industries by 2020.