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Friday August 14, 2009

Rubber board upbeat on new clone

SERDANG: The Malaysian Rubber Board’s (MRB) latest high-yield rubber clone, RRIM 3001, can boost latex production to over 2,000kg per ha per year compared with the average yield of 1,430kg per ha per year in 2008.

Once matured, the RRIM 3001 rubber tree could also be a good “rubber timber” source for the local furniture industry, said MRB director-general Datuk Kamarul Baharain Basir.

The RRIM 3001 was officially launched yesterday by the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at the four-day biennial Malaysia International Commodity Conference and Showcase (MICCOS 2009) here.

Kamarul told reporters that to date, MRB had planted close to 100ha with RRIM 3001 at various trial plots nationwide.

“We are eyeing to commercialise the production of RRIM 3001 to our licenced nurseries nationwide and plan to impose royalty on these nurseries as a return to MRB’s research input,” he said.

Currently, there are about 1.24 million ha of rubber planted in Malaysia with average yields.

At the launch of MICCOS 2009, Muhyiddin said the capacity to adopt technology-based trading, including real time electronic trading, could strengthen Malaysia’s position as the best commodity trading hub in the region.

He said the commodity sector should focus on improving its capabilities including the use of information communication technology (ICT).

Earlier, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the Government would focus on achieving the palm oil sector’s vision of 35:25 (35 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches per ha per year and 25% oil extraction rate) by 2020.

For the upstream activities of rubber and cocoa, the targeted production for latex is about 1,500kg per ha per year and 1,500kg of cocoa beans per ha per year respectively.

For timber under the forest plantation programme, he said: “We are looking at producing 75 million cu m by 2020 to support the local timber industry.”

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