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Thursday, 16 May 2013

How devastating the Cyclone was on Rubber plantation


     In recent times, there was heavy cyclonic storm that has caused many eventualities to the people of the state. It has damaged many houses and also the crops in the fields.
     Let us see the damage of cyclone to the rubber plantation. In the news paper, there was reporting of several damages of rubber plantation due to the cyclone that has come during this pre-monsoon shower.     Although, this pre-monsoon shower has given some relief to the paddy farmers whose crop in the field were in want of moisture.
     But the damage it has caused to the rubber growers is really a matter of concern owing to its severity of damage.
     In my own area, near to my house, 9 years old rubber plantation has met with 20 to 25 plant damage due to the cyclone although; in terms of plantation size it may be manageable to the plantation owner.
But to some growers it has become a misery for long term.
     For example one small rubber plantation owner has lost all his matured and tapable rubber trees leaving only 3 rubber trees in the plantation. It is stated that, the owner has just completed 3 years of tapping during this summer but this unfortunate cyclone has completely wiped out his rubber plantation.
     The size of the rubber plantation was 3 kani with 230 to 240 plants. I’ve already said in my earlier post regarding affect of cyclone to the rubber plantation.

Let us see the plantation details and gross profit earned so far:
a.    Area of plantation: 3 kani
b.    Cost of cultivation(approximately): ` 50,000 (in Indian currency)
c.    Age of plantation: 10 years
d.    Number of rubber trees: 230 to 240
e.    Tapping length till the occurrence of cyclone: 3 years
f.    Gross profit earned in this 3 tapping years: ` 2,31,300*(in Indian currency)

Let us see what happens if he restart new rubber plantation and gross loss till the new plantation reaches to the tapping stage of seven years.
a.    Area of  plantation: 3 kani
b.    Cost of cultivation: ` 70,000 ( in Indian currency)
c.    New plantation to reach tapping stage
(If he restart new plantation during 2013): 2020
d.    Gross profit he would have earned if re-plantation was not required
(2013 to 2020 for 7 years plus investment towards cost of cultivation): ` 609700*

     It’s clear that had the rubber plantation been not damaged by cyclone, he would have earned ` 5,39,700 (in Indian currency) within this 7 years period that he would have to wait for tapping his replanted rubber trees.
     That is to say that in this 7 years gestation period that resulted due to damage of rubber plantation has resulted in loss of ` 5,39,700 during the time of re-plantation to reaching the productive stage of rubber trees.
     Now, what can this small rubber grower do and what will be his option to overcome this unfortunate damage?
     Should he restart again or go for other viable option? Of course, it will be his personal choice or as the case may be.
     But this is quite indication that rubber plantation should be well equipped with contingency plan to face this type of eventualities in future. Natural calamity is unavoidable but some kind of mechanism to insulate the huge loss should be found out either thorough insurance mechanism or other form.
     Seasonal cyclone is likely to occur every year so is damage to the rubber plantation. Therefore, time has come for serious thought about the matter and sought out plan to deal with the eventualities.
** Average latex yield per tree=50ml/tree
     Alternate tapping days= 15 days tapping
     Total tapping months in a year=10 months
     Latex to dry rubber sheet conversion=3.5 liters to 1 kilogram and
    Average price of dry rubber sheet per kilogram=150 per kilogram
Affect of cyclone on rubber plantation