|By Pinoy Farmer | February 27, 2008|
Why rubber trees are grownThe rubber tree is grown because rubber is made from the latex in its bark.
The rubber tree has roots made up of a tap- root and creeping roots.
In the bark of the rubber tree there is a liquid called latex.
The latex is harvested by making a slit in the bark, that is, by cutting a piece of bark.
The latex makes the rubber that is used:
· in the tires of bicycles, motorcars and airplanes;
· for the soles of shoes;
· for many other things.
Rubber is in great demand all over the world; more and more of it is needed.
But it is very difficult to grow rubber trees well and to harvest the latex.
They cannot be grown everywhere.
· a high temperature;
· plenty of water;
· moist air, though they can withstand a dry season.
Where rubber trees are grown
Rubber trees are grown in regions that are hot and moist, that is:
· in Africa (250 000 tons of natural rubber);
· in Central and South America (31 700 tons of natural rubber)
· in Asia, which is the chief producer (3 207 100 tons of natural rubber).
In Africa they are grown mainly in the forest regions.
In Africa the chief producers of natural rubber are:
Liberia – 100 000 tons
Nigeria – 80 000 tons
Zaire – 35 675 tons
Ivory Coast – 18 000 tons
Cameroon – 12 000 tons
Central African Empire – 1 250 tons
Ghana – 1 700 tons
Mali – 1 100 tons
Congo – 160 tons
These production Figures (for 1974) are from the FAO Production Yearbook 1974.
To grow good rubber trees and harvest plenty of latex, you must:
· prepare the seedlings well;
· make a good plantation;
· look after the plantation;
· harvest the latex well.
Source: Better Farming Series 25 – The Rubber Tree, Wikipedia.org [photo]