By Celeste Anna R. Formoso
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Feb. 16 (PNA) — Looking forward to Palawan’s total commitment to take rubber tree farming as an alternative livelihood to Palaweños, the Platinum Rubber Development, Inc. (PRDI) said for better latex production, the province should consider the employment of modern technology.
Alfonso Jack Sandique, chief operations officer of PRDI and owner of a rubber tree farm in Barangay New Cebu, Makilala, Cotabato, said this during the Investment Opportunity Seminar on Modern Rubber Production, Processing and Marketing over the weekend here organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) region IVB and the Palawan government.
Sandique told attendees of the opportunity seminar that good latex production can be ensured only if Palaweños apply modern technology in the planting of rubber tree.
He explained that in modern rubber tree farming technology, the location, kind of soil and the condition of wind and rain are important. The use of construction equipment to prepare the land for rubber farming is also vital to speed up planting.
He added that Palaweños who want to invest in rubber tree planting are lucky because Governor Jose Alvarez views it as an imperative alternative livelihood for the marginalized, and that heavy equipment facilities are available.
The regular monitoring of rubber trees, and correct pest and disease control management, pruning of branches and leaves are important to be able to produce good latex.
“However, it is really up to the farmer if he wants to employ the modern or traditional way of farming rubber trees, what is important is he knows what he is doing and he will work hard,” he said.
Meanwhile, Director Sitti Amina M. Jain, Ph.D, DTI National Rubber Coordinator, said that based on prediction of rubber experts in Singapore, the price of rubber this year will increase again.
She said the DTI is prepared to help those who will engage in the production of goods from latex as well as the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for the improvement of technologies for rubber production.
She also warned investors on rubber to be careful or be in the lookout against choosing consultants to ensure safety and success in the said industry.
Sandique also reiterated that Palawan has a huge potential in rubber production because its climate and soil are favorable to the setting up of plantations. (PNA)