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Jakarta Post

Low prices prompt rubber farmers to switch to other crops

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Tue, January 21, 2020   /  01:47 pm
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A worker taps a rubber tree in the Jawi Jawi rubber plantation area, Bulukumpa district, Bulukumba regency, South Sulawesi in the file photo. (Antara/Abriawan Abhe)

The Indonesian Tire Producers Association (APBI) has called on the government to promote the development of a rubber-based fuel to revive rubber demand and boost prices, and ultimately to prevent rubber farmers from switching to other crops. The association’s chairman, Aziz Zane, said the continued decline in rubber prices because of weak demand from the global market and a plant disease outbreak, has turned rubber plantations economically unviable. As a result, many farmers have abandoned their rubber plantations and turned to other crops that offer better earnings, he added.   "We are afraid that the rubber [plantations] will be gone," Aziz said on the sidelines of a focus group discussion on the development of a rubber-based biofuel in Jakarta on Monday. Indonesia, the second-largest natural rubber producer in the world, is struggling to develop its rubbe...