PHILIPPINES: Rubber plantation to be raised to 200,000 hectares by 2016

Trade Undersecretary Ms Merly Cruz said  that under the country's road map, the area of rubber plantation will be raised from 138,710 hectares in 2010 to 200,000 hectares, an annual increase of 10,000 hectares.

"Given its potential to accelerate the country's economic growth, the rubber industry is among the 32 industries that the trade department will develop in the next three or four years.  In fact, rubber
production has created jobs, mainly in Mindanao," she said.

She said the 10,000 hectares increase per year could be translated to 5,000 employment opportunities annually at one job per two hectares ratio.

While 99 percent of rubber production is concentrated in Mindanao, pockets of plantation were emerging in some regions in Luzon, and potential areas for rubber plantation were identified in Visayas, according to Assistant Regional Trade Director Sitti Amina Jain.

Philippine rubber output accounts for 1.1 percent of the global total. Most Filipino rubber growers are small holders who own three to 10 hectares of land.

Source: Daily "The Philippine Star", Manila; 19 Sept 2012

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)