There are two schemes for expanding rubber cultivation in the country, namely, Rubber Plantation Development (RPD) and Rubber Development in North East (RDNE). The two schemes were implemented during the 11th Five Year Plan and proposed to be continued in the 12th Five Year Plan. The Rubber Plantation Development Scheme has components for promoting rubber cultivation in traditional region (Kerala and Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu) and non-traditional regions other than North East (mainly Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Odisha and West Bengal). The Scheme for Rubber Development in North East is focused on new planting of rubber in the North Eastern States.
The Rubber Plantation Development Schemes provides financial support for planting of new rubber plants and technical assistance. Current rates of financial assistance are Rs.19,500 per ha (planting subsidy) in traditional regions and Rs.30,000 per ha (Rs. 22,000-planting subsidy; Rs 4,000 -planting material assistance; Rs 4,000- transportation grant) in non-traditional regions including North East. New technology in rubber cultivation mainly focuses on new high yielding varieties of planting materials and better agro-management practices. During 11th Plan, two new high yielding varieties of planting materials/ clones, namely, RRII 417 and RRII 422 were released. Developing and popularizing better agro-management practices for minimizing cost of production and maximizing production is a major focus of research and extension activities in natural rubber sector.
As scope for new planting of rubber is limited in Kerala due to non-availability of suitable land, focus is on replanting of old senile plants. This will lead to higher productivity.
Consumption of natural rubber in India has increased to 966,750 tonnes in 2011-12 as compared to 8,61,455 tonnes of consumption during 2007-08.
This information was given by Shri Jyotiradiya M. Scindia, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on 14th May 2012.