ALOR STAR: Natural rubber will be more in demand as the price of synthetic rubber increases, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui.
The price of synthetic rubber depends on the price of crude oil. If oil prices increase, synthetic rubber prices will also increase.
Thus, natural rubber will receive more demand, he told newsmen after attending a meeting with the Kedah state government here yesterday.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, who was present at the meeting, said Kedah welcomed the setting up of a rubber research centre in Sungai Sari, Padang Terap, which would boost the states natural rubber production.
He said 3,200ha of land had been identified for the cultivation of the latest rubber tree clones, and that the first phase would begin in the middle of the year.
During the meeting, the ministry and state discussed several plans to develop the plantation industry in Kedah, including the planting of kenaf on a 30.3ha site in Changlun.
Kenaf is a species of hibiscus, and its fibre can be made into various products, including robe, twine, cloth and fibreboards.
The project will be carried out by the Malaysian National Tobacco Board.