Feasibility of rubber (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg.) cultivation in Eastern province of Sri Lanka with the peasant community

S. M. M. Iqbal, V. H. L. Rodrigo, P. K. W. Karunathilake
2010 Journal of the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka  
Being a war torn area, Eastern province of Sri Lanka is relatively underdeveloped and a large extent of lands which were under chena cultivation is available. Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg.) has proven to be a successful tree crop in the peasant community with its ability to provide continuous permanent income through latex harvesting. Therefore, a feasibility study of planting rubber in Eastern province was carried out. The area coming under the Intermediate zone was the target and
more » ... er planting commenced in 2003 with the participation of three farmers in Komana village of the Padiyatalawa division in the Ampara district. Only two farmers were successful in the first attempt. However, this success led to plant rubber in over 100ha with 282 farmers in the region by 2008. Despite the dry spell, the survival and growth of rubber plants in most of sites were satisfactory and on average, the annual girth expansion rate was 7.35 cm. Rubber plants were expected to be harvested for latex by 7 years. Photosynthetic parameters under normal circumstances were rather healthy, however, under severe drought conditions they were affected indicating a drought induced photoinhibition or down regulation in photosynthesis. Potential of alleviating the adverse effects of droughts on plant growth using improved agro-management practices is discussed.
doi:10.4038/jrrisl.v90i0.1827 fatcat:bgaslsvgm5hmrh56tmx7cqfcgm