How To Start Rubber Plantation Business

Do you want to start a profitable rubber plantation business? Find here a detailed comprehensive rubber plantation business plan sample checklist.

Rubber is one of the most profitable plantation crops globally. It is the major source of natural rubber. In addition, it is the significant raw material for an industry manufacturing about 50,000 products. The scientific name of rubber is Hevea brasiliensis. And it belongs to Euphorbiaceae family. Basically, this is the most commercially grown variety worldwide.

Generally, rubber tree grows up to 30-meter height and begin yielding at the age of 6 to 7 years. Globally, the total rubber-producing area is around 103 lakh ha. Additionally, the major rubber producing countries are Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, India, China, and Vietnam.

Hevea brasiliensis is also popular as the Para rubber tree. Additionally, it is a quick growing, fairly sturdy, the perennial tree of a height of 25 to 30 meters. It has a straight trunk and thick, somewhat soft, light brownish gray bark. Additionally, the young plant shows characteristic growth pattern of an alternating period of rapid elongation and consolidated development.

Economic Importance Of Rubber Plantation

Rubber trees are one of earth’s greatest natural resources. Rubber trees are not just a great source of latex, but are also, used as bio-fuel, the raw material for manufacturing, and for furniture production. The greatest benefit of rubber trees is the amount of carbon sequestration from the environment the trees provide.

The product has also a great export potential. The rubber tree may live for a hundred years or even more. But its economic life period in plantations, on general considerations, is only around 32 years – 7 years of immature phase and 25 years of productive phase.

After 30 years of rubber tapping, a rubber trees efficiency to produce rubber drops. The tree is then chopped down and the wood from the tree is used as bio-fuel, furniture wood, or as light manufacturing wood.

Things To Consider In Commercial Rubber Plantation

  • Like any other plantation crops, you must have sufficient are of land for rubber cultivation.
  • In addition, the agroclimatic and soil conditions of your area must fit for rubber farming.
  • This is a long term business. You will not get any type of return before 7 years from the plantation. Therefore, you must prepare for the upcoming investments related to the cultivation process.
  • Procuring the natural rubber from the plants demands sufficient labor employment. Therefore, you must provide skilled manpower for this.
  • Finally, you must have a rubber plantation business plan before commencing the business. Include the financial factsheet and marketing plan.

Best Varieties For Rubber Plantation

In India, you can find several developed varieties of rubber plants. These are Tjir 1, PB 86, BD 5, BD 10, PR 17, GT 1, RRII 105, RRIM 600, PB 28/59, PB 217, PB 235, RRIM 703, RRII 5, PCK-1, 2 and PB 260. Generally, selecting the right variety plays an important role in this business. You must select the variety as per the agroclimatic and soil conditions of your area.

Agroclimatic Condition For Rubber Plantation

The rubber plant comes up well under fairly heavy and well-distributed rainfall (2000 – 3000 mm) with high humidity (80%). Additionally, equable climate with a temperature of 20° to 34°C and a monthly mean of 25° to 28°C is best for rubber plants.

However, variation in temperature and humidity in the rubber track is not so marked as that of the rainfall. Additionally, bright sunshine amounting to about 2000 h per annum at the rate of 6 hours per day through all the months is perfect for rubbers.

Suitable Soil For Rubber Plantation

Rubber grows well in highly weathered soils consisting of laterite and lateritic soils. These soils are mostly very porous, well drained, moderately to highly acidic, deficient in available phosphorus and varying in potassium and magnesium content.

In some places, it also comes up in red and alluvial soils containing high organic matter. It prefers well-drained porous soils which are moderate to highly acidic in nature. Soils must have a minimum depth of 1 m without any intervening hard pan or impenetrable layer.

Rubber Plantation Basic Steps

Land Preparation

Land preparation is the basic step of starting a rubber farm. However, you must have an architectural plan for it. A well-planned network of roads and footpath is necessary for the easy transportation of inputs to the various fields, latex to the factory and for the efficient supervision of field operations.

Additionally, you must trace the roads preferably before the commencement of lining so that you can reserve sufficient strip of land. Furthermore, you must provide spaces for office, stores, processing factories and residential accommodations. And you must give careful attention for protecting the farm to keep away grazing cattle and to prevent pilferage.

Propagation

Generally, rubber propagates from seeds. You can raise seedlings on the nursery bed. Rubber seeds lose viability very rapidly if left in the field. For germination, raised level beds with a 5 cm thick layer of river sand. Additionally, you must provide partial shade in order to prevent strong sun. Germination starts 6 to 7 days after sowing.

Nursery management aims at the most rapid production of standard healthy planting materials. Therefore, you must take an intensive care in a nursery than in a field.

Manuring & Fertilization

Nutritional studies indicate that rubber plants respond well to judicious manuring. Therefore, you must provide systematic manuring and agro-management practices in the young rubber plants. It is advisable to test the soil before planting. And accordingly, plan your manuring process.

Also Read: Is Soil Testing Important In Agriculture? | In-depth Guide

Intercropping

Intercropping is an important aspect in rubber plantation business. It helps to boost the overall profitability of the farm. During the initial years of a rubber plantation, rubber plants don’t occupy the entire space. Therefore, you can use the interspaces for growing intercrops, which will help you to generate additional revenue. Some of the potential intercrops are the banana, pineapple, ginger, turmeric, vegetables, medicinal plants and tuber crops.

Also Read: Top 15 Profitable Medicinal Herbs Farming Business Ideas

Weed Control

Some of the potential weeds are Eupatorium, Chromolaena, Borreria, Lantana, Mimosa, Clerodendron, Mikania, Sida, Pennisetum, Axonopus, Paspalum, Digitaria, Cynodon, and Imperata. It is advisable to control the weeds manually. Additionally, you can apply chemical herbicides to control the weeds.

Plant Protection

You must have the specific plan for plant protection. Continuous rainy weather brings about an attack of ‘Phytophthora’ fungus causing abnormal leaf fall. There are minor diseases like secondary leaf fall caused by ‘Gleosporium’, bird’s eye spot, leaf spot and pink disease for which remedial measures are available. Besides, there are insects such as scale insect, mealy bug, cockchafer grub, and caterpillar. However, you can control the pests and diseases problem very easily by adopting effective plant protection measures.

Tapping

You can obtain the latex from the bark of the rubber tree by tapping. Tapping is a process of controlled wounding during which thin shavings of bark is removed. The aim of tapping is to cut open the latex vessels in the case of trees tapped for the first time or to remove the coagulum which blocks the cut ends of the latex vessels in the case of trees under regular tapping.

Additionally, you must have a rubber processing unit. Also, you can process the field latex for storage by adding the preservative like ammonia.

Finally, we must mention, rubber plantation is not an easy business. You must have the right entrepreneurial ability for what it takes to be successful.