Rubber farmers replace old rubber trees with high-yield variety

WITH rubber prices declining, some rubber plantation owners have begun felling their rubber trees and selling them as firewood, while some are replacing them with new rubber varieties that have higher yields.

“The price of rubber is on a gradual decline. Some rubber farmers sell their rubber trees as firewood because selling rubber latex can’t earn them enough for their workers’ wages. They cut down the rubber trees with a view to cultivate other seasonal vegetables,” said U Tun Tin, a rubber plantation owner from Thanbyuzayat.

On 19 May, the price of rubber was K600 per pound, down from K700 in third week of April, according to the Mudon rubber purchase depot.

Some plantation owners who can afford the investment have turned to a new rubber variety, which produces higher yields, after felling their old trees. This kind of cultivation can be expensive to rubber farmers.

“Our family has farmed rubber since the days of our forefathers. So we replaced the old rubber tree with the highyield variety rather than wasting time on this,” said U Aung Min, a rubber plantation owner.

The old rubber trees can produce 700 pounds of latex per acre per year, while the new rubber variety can produce 2,000 pounds of rubber latex per acre per year after seven years of cultivation.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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