Thursday, July 24, 2014


RUBBER (Hevea brasilliensis) is one of the Malaysian plantation crop since hundreds year ago. More than 1,021,000 hectar of rubber tree planted in Malaysia in 2014 with total production of 260,000 mt with 232,000 mt as fry rubber and 28,000 as latex for local and export market. Smallholdwe sector contributes 70 of rubber growing area and the balance are an estate sector. Rubber tree in botany explaination are grown originally in the wild. The rubber tree will grow to heights of 100 to 130 feet, and can live up to 100 years. Its most famous feature is the milky white sap, known as latex, which flows freely from the tree when a sliver of bark is removed. I hav an experience to tap the rubber tree during my young age at my kampong in Johor. There are almost 1 million rubber taper in Malaysia as their jobs.  A rubber tree, also referred to as rubberwood, can be tapped for latex once it reaches approximately six years of age. In order to reproduce, the fruit of the rubberwood burst open when ripe, scattering its many seeds in an area spanning up to 100 feet from the tree.This article I would like to share khowledge about facts of rubber tree.

Rubber tree is a species of rubberwood that is native to rainforests in the Amazon region of South America, including Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. These trees are generally found in low-altitude moist forests, wetlands, riparian zones, forest gaps and disturbed areas. It is a quick growing tree, often the first to establish itself when a gap in the canopy is produced but may be shaded out as more trees fill in the canopy opening. Today, commercially produced rubber can also be found throughout much of Southeast Asia and Western Africa. First discovered by the ancient Olmec, Maya and Aztec, the latex sap from the rubber tree was once used to make rubber balls, to waterproof clothes and even to form homemade shoes. Today, the latex sap from the rubber tree is still used in the modern processing of rubber and is often a substantial source of income for indigenous populations.
Rubber tappers have disagreed over the rights to clear forest land. Cutting down the forest is not only detrimental to the species that depend on that land, but also damaging to the people that earn a living by sustainably harvesting what the forest provides. Many indigenous people depend on these sources of income to provide for their families and communities. Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are main South East Asia major production natural rubber in this region. New high yielding clone are grown with high latex production and for log production introduced in Malaysia.

M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
RRIM Sg Buloh,
(8 July 2014)

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