Rubber cultivation and Trade in Kerala
Natural rubber is an elastomer derived from latex of plants.The the source of natural rubber in Kerala is from the species Hevea brasiliensis.Actually rubber plant is not a native plant of Kerala.Dutch colonialists brought rubber plant to Kerala.But at present Rubber is an important source of Income for good number of Keralites. Kerala accounts for 90% out of the total area under rubber cultivation in India.
In Kerala rubber is generally grown in the midlands and high lands including Kottayam,Pathanamthitta, Kollam and Idukki. In 2009 the production of Rubber in Kerala increased to 783,000 tonnes.Kottayam grows rubber in over 109,582 hectares and produces 120,946 tonnes of rubber per annum.Kottayam, the fourth largest rubber grower in India, produces almost nine percent of the world’s rubber.
Excellent price of rubber has really warmed the Rubber planters in Kerala.But acute labour shortage is affecting Rubber cultivation in Kerala.