Itanagar, August 2: Rubber plantation has of late become the centre of attraction for farmers in Arunachal Pradesh, with the government laying emphasis on the crop over the past few years.
Days are not far away when rubber would replace the traditional jhum practices of the tribal communities in this Himalayan state as the state government has accorded top priority to the sector for the past several years with separate budgetary allocation.
For the current financial year, the state government has allocated an amount of Rs 15 crore for the rubber sector. During 2012-13, under the Chief Ministers Mission Mode Programme (MMP) an amount of Rs 2 crore was allocated for rubber cultivation under TFC grant covering 237 beneficiaries.
The highest allocation of Rs 10 crore was given to the sector during 2013-14 covering 950 beneficiaries while during 2014-15, an amount of Rs 3 crore was allocated covering 270 beneficiaries, Trade and Commerce Director Tokong Pertin said.
He added that assistance in the form of planting materials (720 rubber poly bags and 6 rolls of barbed wire) per beneficiary were provided to a total of 237 units including 26 each in East Siang, West Siang, Lohit, Tirap, Longding and East Kameng and 27 units each in Papum Pare, Lower Dibang Valley and Changlang districts.
"The state government will closely work with the Rubber Board of India for technology guidance and transfer besides extending marketing facilities," Chief Minister Nabam Tuki said, adding special emphasis would be given on this sector to provide economic benefit to the rural people and employment to the youths.
"Rubber cultivation will meet 25 per cent of the state government's five-year job generation target of one lakh," Tuki added. Rubber Board's Eastern Zonal Additional Production Commissioner Anil Kumar said that the board was committed to taking steps to boost rubber cultivation in the state.
"The opening of Rubber Board's regional office here and posting of development officer besides a field officer at Namsai office reflected the Board's commitment to help grow rubber production in the state," Kumar said, adding posting of field officers to potential rubber growing areas of the state was in the offing.