SURIGAO DEL NORTE, Philippines – Filipino rubber farmers and stakeholders are increasing the area planted to rubber trees in the Caraga Region, as domestic and global demand for rubber looks up,
The provinces of Agusan del Sur, and Agusan del Norte, and the cities of Butuan, Bayugan, and Bislig are being targeted to have additional rubber plantations in the near term.
Rubber farmers, especially rubber associations in Bayugan City and in Trento, Agusan del Sur will be planting more rubber trees to an area of approximately 1,000 has.
In Barangay Tungao of Butuan City alone, a new rubber plantation worth some PH 2.7 million is already being monitored by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Local officials said the rubber industry is a recently rejuvenated sector in the region with prices of cup lumps at levels advantageous to farmers and other support enterprises such as rubber tapping.
Because of the sprawling rubber plantations in various areas of the region, a three-day proper rubber tapping training for farmers and tappers in Butuan City was conducted recently, organised by the DTI in cooperation with the local government of Butuan City, and the officials of Barangay Tungao. Resource person Crisanto D. Java, a recognised expert on rubber tapping and rubber tree propagation from Cotabato conducted the training, which focused on the techniques, skills, and proper methods of rubber tapping.
The initiative is said to be critical to ensure the quality and yield of rubber latex, as well as the lifespan of rubber trees.
The participants were also taught regarding characteristics and propagation techniques for rubber trees, rubber farm establishment, and rubber tree budding and its advantages from seed tree.