80 Delegates from 5 member countries attended the 4th meeting of the Association of South East Nations held in Singapore on Tuesday.
80 Delegates from 5 member countries attended the 4th meeting of the Association of South East Nations held in Singapore on Tuesday. The main topic of discussion was the production of natural rubber in South ???t Asia and to prepare for the forth-coming of talks between ??? countries and ???apan on rubber production. AS??? natural rubber producers were reported to be concerned by the ever increasing synthetic rubber production in Japan.
The production of natural rubber is still done by a traditional process. A "tapper" cuts into a rubber tree, almost down to the cambium, to start the later flowing. It takes about 5 years before a rubber tree will yield latex and to become ready for tapping.
Once it is collected the latex is then transported to the factory where it is ???ieved to remove dirt and coagulated by adding acid.
Over 90 per cent of the world's natural rubber comes from South East Asia. And the largest producer in this area is Malaysia. A good deal of Malaysia's rubber -- about half -- comes from thousands of ???rivately-owned plots of land -- each averages about 5 ???. The rest is grown on big estates owned by various companies, and each can cover several thousand acres. Altogether, Malaysia has 4 million acres of rubber plantations.
Once coagulated, a small amount of castor oil is added to the latex, turning it into "crumb" rubber. After drying, the crumb rubber is compressed into conveniently sized bales and shipped.
With the increase in competition from synthetic rubber, modernisation in the natural rubber industries is being researched at various institutes throughout South East Asia.
The results have been impressive. With the application of technology chemistry considerable progress has been made to upgrade yields. From materials capable of yielding 500-600 lbs per acre per year, present yields have been averaging more than 2000 lbs per acre per year.