Potential for rubber (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg.) cultivation in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka
Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka
Rubber cultivation in Sri Lanka has been confined mainly to the Wet Zone where the extent of land under rubber declined rapidly with urbanization and land fragmentation. Therefore in order to meet the demand for natural rubber cultivation has been undertaken in moderately dry areas (Intermediate Zone) of the country. Lands in the intermediate zone that were previously subjected to shifting cultivation have been targeted for rubber cultivation with collaboration of the peasant community whose
... elihood depended largely on seasonal crops grown on these lands. Therefore, benefits of rubber cultivation in those areas are threefold, and include increased rubber production, increased forest cover and improved livelihood of the rural poor. The Eastern Province of the country was selected for the present study. The feasibility of rubber cultivation in this area was examined in three steps. Firstly, a review of available secondary data was conducted, followed by interviews with key informants and site visits to the potential areas. Secondly, rubber plants were established in limited smallholdings of a selected village followed by an agronomic assessment on initial establishment of rubber. Finally a SWOT analysis was conducted in the village. Measures to be taken to address the problems associated with dry spells and socio-economic needs of the farmers were also identified.