There are several views on the emerging Rubber Plantation in Tripura while some groups push the growth of Rubber other pulls back for stoppage.
Now, what is the general trend? Agricultural professionals feel threatened and consider Rubber as non-sustainable approach. Rubber Board sales the success story and spreads the news of Rubber wonders.
In between these pull and push of agriculture department and Rubber Board the reaction of farming communities is up-beat, receptive and conducive for new plantation as well as increasing the area of Rubber Plantation.
The views of forest department the saviour of green is of course, only occasional outburst when forest areas are illegally encroached.
Now, another question that is point of my interest is the forest coverage, forest regeneration in relation to emerging Rubber plantation and its influence on overall forest coverage of the state.
Will you consider Rubber Plantation as equivalent to forest regeneration? Do forest department consider Rubber as forest species? Of course, I have no clear answers and clarifications on these questions.
While depletion of forest coverage is the question and regeneration and increasing of green coverage is the challenge. In this critical situation where do stand and analyse the influence of Rubber plantation in over all forest coverage of the state?
Like elsewhere, State forest department is the sole authority of protecting and projecting the forest resources of Tripura. The Forest departments regulate the use of forest resources and regenerate the forest coverage for balancing the basic human needs and climatic commitment.
Sometimes ago, there were talks on the subject of total forest scenario of the state wherein, it was reported that forest coverage of the state is in increasing trend that is forest covering is increasing in the state.
Now, coming to the basic and practical aspects of forest regeneration that has been around in the state, I have my own observation.
The Rubber Board, Tripura region is reporting increasing trends of new Rubber Plantation and many welfare departments of state are also implementing Rubber scheme of course, there are many people who are taking up new plantation on their own.
If all are reporting increasing trends then the question is; where do they take up these activities? It may on their own land (tilla / hills), o.k. let us consider that no protected lands of forest department are encroached for Rubber Plantation but ultimately, new Rubber Plantation would be requiring lands, high lands that means forest coverage are ought to be disturbed and depleted.
Now, how do you justify the reports indicating the increase of green coverage in the state then? What I presume is; satellite imagery indicating increase of forest coverage might be showing the mix-up image of the Rubber Plantation with other forest green coverage of the state.
Now, if green is goal and objective then it is achieved but still there is undercurrent and suspicion on the emerging trends. These views and suspicion should be addressed and to clarify these, these following studies seems to very necessary:-
• A detail study should be carried out to find out the affect of Rubber Plantation in relation to other forest species.
• A Study to find out the influence of Rubber plantation on climatic condition.
• A study to find out whether Rubber releases toxic elements into the soil.