Saturday 15 October 2011

Rubber Plantation and other Fruit crops

     In the post title “Tripura in the world map of rubber production” some idea and real situation had been narrated. While the Rubber plantation has improved the people economically and helped them to pursue better future in other fields.
    On the opposite side, fruit crops and other valuable forest species have been in declining stage or sidelined due to mass movement for Rubber plantation. Small mammals and simian have no option but infested villages destroying the homestead garden of the people.

Emergence of Rubber plantation

While I feel to mention some of the real facets of changes that Rubber has brought to the state Tripura in ensuing movement of prosperity. Rubber has become the established plantation crop and it is perhaps in increasing trend of expansion.
Prior to 20 years, those surrounding small sloppy hills happen to be fearsome place due to thick canopy of forest.
 For economic sustenance, people started the extraction of forest resources and in the process; forest coverage had been totally cleared. Although some initiatives had been taken by the forest department of Tripura but no much changes could be brought in terms of forest regeneration.
At this juncture, Rubber Board of India and state Tribal Welfare Department had brought out the package for implementation of Rubber scheme thereby improving the socio-economic status of the people.
 Rubber Board under the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India being vigorously advocating the Rubber plantation had successfully taken the chance of receptive mode of the people and implemented their scheme. Consequentially, local people greatly benefited from this approach of the Government.

Disappearance of Fruit crops and other Forest species

Now, what happened is, the hills which were earlier looks to be debilitating forest with thick vegetation of different valuable forest species and small mammals, birds and insect has been replaced with Rubber plantation.
In my experience now even taking a walk inside those Rubber plantations feels me as if I am walking in the deep jungle. Of course, in the day time, it is a pleasure due to ample sheds during the scorching summer but during night time it is simply the darkest.
 But, the valuable forest species and fruit crops like Jackfruit, Mango, Banana and many others local species of fruit crops had been totally forgotten from this area. Simultaneously, different species of fauna had been disappeared from this area and pushed to unknown boundaries.

Voice of the people

Some people used to whisper that Rubber is man made interference to the nature and it is affecting the nature. However; due to lack concrete scientific evidence their mesmerizing opinions are still not weighted. There is also trend that, when economic return is more, people pretend to be nobody rather than somebody.
While I do not know whether rubber releases any toxic gases to the air causing health implication or not but one thing I experienced is, the whole area of nearby villages is stinking and constantly under the exposure of a bad odor that is being emitted from processing of Rubber latex to the marketable dried Rubber sheet.

Emergence of new problems

Another example I set forwards is, in my area where we live there is absolutely no place excepting low lying areas that are not converted under the Rubber plantation. Virtually, every piece of land is converted into Rubber plantation. The effects there are several as few listed here:
·Fruit crops have been sidelined.
·Non-availability of fruit crops in the locality.
·Forest trees and other species have been completely forgotten.
·Shortage of fuel woods.
·Increase of simian pressure on field crops and orchard crops.
The last point I would like to mention here is simian invasion on villages. There are of course, few hills that are preserved by some families for different fruit crops and other forest species but unfortunately due to perennial habitation of monkeys no produce could be harvested.
 This is happening due to decline in forest area and increase of Rubber plantation.
It is the simplest example that I could exemplify how natural imbalance has been created due to our progress.
 My point is that, we have progressed economically, educationally, socially but are we going forwards only to pay heavy dividend later on. This is the most crucial points that should be taken into consideration
     What I feel is, time has come to have some kind of regulation in the form of proper utilization of natural resources keeping in mind the wholesome development of mankind with peaceful co-existence with the nature.

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