Monday, December 10, 2012

Rubber Plantations, Nilambur - November 2012

Rubber estates on the way to Kurumbalangode village of Nilambur taluk in Malappuram district, Kerala. Rubber usually cultivated in large plantations that extent to several acres are a typical sight when travelling through villages of central and north Kerala. Some roads pass right across these vast estates and driving through these is an enjoyable experience. Rubber latex, the agricultural product of this plant is extracted from the fully grown rubber trees.
In place like Kerala, where coconuts are in ampleness, the half shell of coconut is used for gathering the rubber latex. When the rubber
plant attains a growth of 7 years, it is ready for latex harvesting. There are specialized laborers employed for this process. First they make a annular cut on the trunk of tree. Below the cut a coconut shell is tied to collect the seeping milky sap. Every morning the estate employees empty the cup and put it back for the next day. This daily process goes for another 20 to 25 years until the tree stops extracting latex. At that stage all the old trees will be cut and new set of rubber trees will be