Once upon a time in 1963 rubber had stepped its first root in the soil of Tripura. The state of Tripura, in the north eastern part of India, has a geographical area of 10,491 sq. km which is only about 13% of Assam and about 27% of Kerala. It is land locked in the south-west extreme corner of the north-eastern region, between latitudes 22057’ and 24033′ N and longitudes 91010′ and 92020′ E. The state is situated between the river valleys of Myanmar and Bangladesh and is bounded by Bangladesh on the north, west, south and southeast. In its east, it has narrow attachments with Assam and Mizoram. The state has 54.76% area under forest reserve. Still the state stands in the prestigious second position in terms of area (70000 ha.) and production (44740.00 MT) in the country. A strong breed of Board’s extension officials, working in the state has been very much instrumental in achieving such accomplishments. Rubber was introduced here as a measure of soil conservation by the Forest Department, Govt. of Tripura. Till 1978 rubber had been captive in corporate sector. Thereafter, it got slowly domesticated in the yards of small and marginal growers.

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Mission & Vision

The idea behind introducing rubber in Tripura was multi-ambitious.

  • To conserve soil,
  • To protect forest wealth and afforestration,
  • To provide permanent settlement for shifting cultivators through sustainable income crop,
  • To have eco-restoration,
  • To promote socio-economic development.
  • To generate continuous employment.

Rubber Board started with its one-man-office at Agartala in 1967, thereafter proliferated its set up across the lengths & breadths of the state. The State-run-corporations, like Tripura Forest Development Plantation Corporation (TFDPC), Tripura Rehabilitation Plantation Corporation (TRPC) and Tripura Tribal Area Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), District Administration have actively contributed to the cause of rubber-based-rehabilitation-programmes for different tribes in Tripura.


* Asst. Development Officer, Rubber Board. (e-mail:, Mobile: 09436454280)

Translations of Mission & Vision

Rubber is the most accepted and commercially viable plantation crop in Tripura. It has reinforced the economic value of a plantation with its social significance. Rubber in Tripura, apart from its commercial value, has been playing the imperative role as a major economic activity around which the rehabilitation projects for shifting cultivators (Jhumias) has been brought up.

Despite several attempts, the tribal community of Tripura, who would lead life of gypsies, could not be provided with a permanent settlement, even long after independence. Shifting cultivation itself promotes nomadic life style. Unlike other components, rubber perhaps could satisfy the taste of these primitive people by giving a forest look into their surroundings, provide better earnings than barter economy and abstain them from vacating their place.

Large majority of the uplands in Tripura remains in the jurisdiction of TTAADC, where tribal is the majority. As per 6th Schedule of our Constitution, the area remained inaccessible for outsiders. About thirty percent population of tribal communities thus got blessed with about sixty-five percent of the land available for rubber. This had opened up uncontested opportunity for the tribal population of the state to come up with rubber in a bigger way.

Block Plantation Scheme

Rubber Board has been implementing Block Plantation Scheme since 1992. The then Jt. Rubber Production Commissioner of Rubber Board, Dr A K Krishnakumar had conceived this idea. Under this scheme a compact land (Block) is identified where the tribal families have ownership over that land. The beneficiaries are also supported with handholding and technology. Board provided continuous wage employment for up-keep operations during immaturity period and scientific approach for tapping, processing and marketing. So far 3725.30 hectare has been raised in 58 villages for 3490 jhumia families under the auspice of Block Planting project. These plantations had tremendous demonstration impact on tribal communities to get them attracted to this crop.

The unique approach, that Rubber Board Block Plantation Scheme had delivered, had been its prioritization for human component together with plantation development to wean away initial skepticism, assure permanent settlement, insure sustainable economics besides eco restoration from long lasting devastating effects of shifting cultivation. The scheme has also converged infrastructures like road-footpath, buildings to bring our spectacular change in the village panorama.

Districts of Tripura Area (Ha.) developed by/for Total Area (Ha.)
Tribal (ST) alone Scheduled Caste (SC) General Category Govt./Rehabilitation of SC/ST
West Tripura 8095 1590 3318 3587 16590
Sepahijala 8039 1432 3742 2678 15971
Gomati 3094 654 1307 1480 6535
South Tripura 7923 1672 2280 3328 15203
Khowai 1458 283 284 808 2833
Dhalai 1922 388 466 1110 3886
Unokoti 1245 245 367 593 2450
North Tripura 3649 671 711 1885 6916
Total 35425 6935 12475 15469 70304
Percentage 50.39% 9.86% 17.74% 22.01%

Above statistics show that support of rubber goes to more than 82% unprivileged stakeholders, living in the society.

TRPC Module

TRPC has spectacular endeavor in promoting rubber in the remotest of the remote places. It has brought out plantations on cluster basis. So far TRPC has raised 8373 ha. rubber plantation for 7454 tribal beneficiaries in 62 remote tribal pockets with the assistances from NABARD, World Bank and Rubber Board. At present 6793 ha. plantation is being maintained. TRPC relentlessly generates mandays for plantation development, harvesting, processing besides sales realization of the produce for these many tribal families.

Other Players

TFDPC had raised more than 11500 ha. rubber plantation with support from Rubber Board in remote tribal areas where innumerable mandays have been created for plantation development, crop harvesting and latex processing. It also accommodated number of families who got ousted at the inception of Dumbur (a dam for hydro-eclectic power) project. More than 1500 mandays are required for plantation development alone. At maturity about 1 manday is mandatory each day for upkeep, harvest, process etc. in each hectare. The Centrifuging and ISNR factory with Creep Mill of TFDPC had come up at a tribal helmet, Takmacherra. Most of the workforce, employed in that factory, hails from tribal communities.

TTAADC since 1998 has come forward for providing substantial arrangements for raising rubber for tribal communities. Assistance got awarded through schemes like MGNREGA, Rubber Board Subsidy etc.

District Administration also rendered matching support for accommodating tribal shifting cultivators with the help of Board’s Plantation Development Schemes. It also generated innumerable mandays through MGNREGA and other ongoing schemes.

Social & Economic Settlement of Shifting Cultivators

In Rubber Board promoted Block Plantation units till 2014-15, 2510.75 hectare of plantation is brought under tapping and each beneficiary family has earned about Rs. 2 lakh during last fiscal. Among tribal communities per family rubber area is more than 1 ha. Sales realization per family thus exceeds Rs. 1.5 lakh per annum. A number of investigations, published in national & international events/journals show spectacular developments in the tribal families in terms of education, leadership quality, sanitation, dress code, social status and above all in their attitude.

Human Resource Development

One of the major roles, the implementing agencies have played in familiarizing an alien crop with the resource poor and intellect poor tribal growers, is the introduction of a comprehensive training module. The elementary knowledgebase could be created by hammering cynicism of the mass and intensive training programmes. In situ training programmes, through Tappers’ Training Schools, Short Duration Intensive Tappers’ Training also got imparted to meet the growing demands for tapping, processing, grading etc.

Cluster Development

Small clusters have been formed at remote tribal pockets under the banner of Rubber Producers’ Societies (RPSs) with financial and technical support of Rubber Board. RPSs have also imparted brilliant expertise to the illiterate tribal community in harvest and post harvest technologies and remain as linkage between Rubber Board and other government organizations and at the best with the other sectors in rubber industry. Institutional and infrastructural supports like processing shed, smoke house, office room, storage facility, training hall have also been erected at the CPCs.


Rubber has provided sustainable income to tribal population of the state. Rubber has also contributed a lot in curbing insurgency in this state. Many a terrorists have accommodated themselves in the main stream through rubber. This crop has already changed the tribal village panorama by conceiving its social, political, psychological, infrastructural and economic status.

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