Labor shortages make it difficult to restart rubber plantations in Mon State

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Mawlamyine, 15 September

The rubber plantations in Mon State have a tough time resuming amid political unrest under the military regime, rubber growers told Than Lwin Times.

Rubber manufacturing operations in Mon State run from September to May each year, but they are subjected to a serious shortage of skilled workers this year.

The shortage of labor is caused by the inability to find new workers, the increase in the wages of skilled workers, the extremely high prices of goods, and workers leaving for other countries.

“Local skilled workers go to work in other countries, and it is difficult to recruit workers from other regions, so we are facing a skilled worker shortage,” a rubber farm owner explained.

He added, “Last year, we paid 13 kyats per tree to the skilled workers for tapping rubber latex, and now we have increased it to 15 kyats per tree, but there is no one to do it”.

A rubber plantation owner said that if new workers are not found, the farms may be forced to close.

When there is a shortage of skilled workers, it will be difficult to fully resume the rubber business, and if workers are not found within the specified time, they will have to operate as much as they can, resulting in a significant decrease in rubber production, according to the rubber farm owners.

Skilled rubber workers from other regions and states, on the other hand, are finding it difficult to come to Mon State due to territorial restrictions, overnight guest lists, and curfews imposed by the military council.

Mon State has about 500,000 acres of rubber plantation, producing over 100,000 tons of rubber each year, and the rubber industry generates millions of dollars in revenue.

However, the rubber sector was unable to recover due to the military council’s restrictions and wrong policy during the coup.

News – Than Lwin Times

Photo: CJ

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