Mawlamyine, April (20)

Mon State’s rubber growers have suffered losses due to the severe temperatures and failure to put fertilizer into the farm during the rubber season this year, with yield dropping by almost half, the growers told Than Lwin Times.

Following the military coup, fertilizer prices more than quadrupled, rubber production dropped dramatically, labor shortages and general costs increased, and rubber farmers faced losses.

Rubber farmers suffered more as the rubber yield dropped by at least 70 percent in March and April, the end of the rubber season.

According to a rubber farmer, growers are unable to recover due to a severe decline in rubber yield. “The yield is reduced by more than half, leaving the farmer sometimes only three or four lakhs in profit. Farmers are having a hard time this year,” said he.

While the yield of rubber has dropped significantly, the price of rubber has not risen as much as expected, so most of the rubber farmers have suffered from low income and losses.

Farmers say that the price of rubber is only around 1,300 kyats per pound, which can’t fetch a good price.

According to a rubber farmer, some farm owners may decide to terminate their operations even before the rubber season is over because of the decline in rubber yield.

In Mon State, the processes of rubber tapping are carried out from September to mid-May every year; the majority of the output goes to China and Thailand.

However, the rubber sector is suffering due to the restrictions imposed by the junta, and the restriction that 65 percent of the export earnings must be exchanged for Myanmar currency at the price set by the Central Bank.

Mon State has more than 500,000 acres of rubber and produces more than 100,000 tons of rubber annually. This sector earns millions of US dollars, but it is suffering the effects of the military coup like other industries.

News – Than Lwin Times

Photo: TLT

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