ICA Nepal, with its vision to improve entrepreneurship among local communities, started with a new initiative this month in collaboration with the Institute of Rubber and Jatropha Research (IRJR-N/USA), which specifically and intensively works for the expansion of Rubber Plantation in Nepal. The initiative called “ICA Nepal and IRJR N/USA: A joint Initiative on developing Entrepreneurship through Rubber plantation and production” aims on expanding the Natural Rubber plantation in the eastern parts of Nepal (Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari and the lower parts of Ilam).
Natural Rubber is the source of more than 50 thousand materials and the second largest industry in the world after steel. From baby’s toys to the world’s largest weapons, rubber is an integral and an irreplaceable material.
Also known as “White gold”, natural rubber can only be grown in South Asian lands, and Nepal, among others, has the potential to grow the finest quality rubber. Currently only 1,000 hectares of land is being utilized for Rubber plantation when almost 15,000 hectares of land is suitable and available in Nepal.
Thus this initiative has started to bring together farmers, community forest user groups, industrialists, rubber enterprises and government officials, for promoting Commercial Modern Rubber plantation and the promotion of Agro-entrepreneurship. The initiative will be a collaboration with government/non-government organizations, cooperatives, universities, and local level institutions for its expansion.
In this regard, a training session on the scope of the plantation of Natural Rubber was organized on April 10-11-2017 at ICA Nepal, where the pioneer scientist of rubber plantation in Nepal, Mr. Tilak Bhandari, along with rubber technologist, Mr. Tej Nath Dahal, facilitated sessions on rubber plantation and associated industries respectively.
Also, a group of ICA Nepal and IRJR N/USA representatives have left for a field assessment and baseline research among Rubber growers to determine the current situation in the eastern Parts of Nepal.
This post was written for ICAI’s monthly bulletin the Global Buzz, May 2017.