Sri Lanka will export high value added rubber products to niche markets using natural rubber and will increase export revenue by 50 percent by 2014 achieving a stable supply at low price volatility, said Dr Shantha Walpalage of the Moratuwa University making a presentation on the national Action Plan for the Development of the value chain in the rubber sector organized by FCCISL (SMED)at Galle Face Hotel last week.
She said the identified potential high value product portfolios which gives high foreign earnings per ton will be based on the expert opinions made on the present market environment and possible trends. A number of steps will be taken to develop the sector according to the action plan.
Extension of new rubber plantations to non-traditional areas will be encouraged and modified high yield clones plants will be introduced for low yielding low acreage lands.
Introducing new tapping techniques replacing manual tapping with mechanical devices, setting up societies with central facilities for manufacture of small latex based articles for domestic market and conducting awareness programs on good practices of fertilizing are some of the other measures.
The number of people leaving the rubber industry will be reduced by securing a proper social status.
The rationale is that this sector could share the experience and momentum gained by textile and tea sectors.
The rubber industry shows approximately nine percent annual growth whilst the projection for Asian rubber production made by IRSG is around a four percent. Sri Lanka records high price volatility compared to other countries in the region, Dr.Walpalage said.