P31.6M facility to boost rubber processing in Agusan Sur
BUTUAN CITY, June 15 (PIA) - Rubber processing will be given a big boost with the establishment of P31.6 million natural crumb rubber processing in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.
The said facility, which will be turned over this month, is a big-ticket project of the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP), a special project under the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Through MRDP's Community Fund for Agricultural Development (CFAD), the Farmers Alternative for Self-Reliance Multi-Purpose Cooperative (FASRMCO) was able to access the P31.6-million fund for the establishment of processing facility which is equipped with creper and macerator, shredder, trolley dryer, hydraulic baling press and weighing scale.
"The facility is expected to produce high-quality semi-processed natural crumb rubber for tire and footwear manufacturers," said MRDP livelihood specialist Samson Mate.
He said the facility will also improve the consistency and standard of the plasticity retention index of natural crumb rubber products and to increase value of rubber cup lump, the coagulated rubber latex.
"The province has no existing commercial rubber processing plant, except the conventional processing type," Mate said.
"With the facility rubber farmers can have an annual incremental income of at least P3,600-P6,900 per hectare as savings from freight and handling if delivered in processing centers in North Cotabato," he added.
As of 2011, Agusan del Sur has 13,321 hectares planted to rubber and 4,972 are already productive. The total volume of cuplump production was 15,273 metric tons with an average production of 3.1 metric tons per hectare.
"These are the sources of cuplump for milling in the province's crumb rubber processing center which has the capacity of at least 4,337 metric tons," Mate said.
MRDP program director Lealyn Ramos said the MRDP through its program advisory board has approved the funding of big-ticket livelihood projects to provide wider opportunities for famers to expand production into enterprise.
"This crumb rubber facility will not only reduced hauling cost but more importantly enabled our farmers to earn more through value-adding activities," Ramos said. (DA-MRDP/PIA-Caraga)