By THE NATION
Nakorn Takkawipat, deputy director general of the rubber authority, on Friday (June 19) presided over the MoU (memorandum of understanding) signng ceremony between the RAOT, Chitralada Technology Institute and PTT Plc for the joint development and production of rubber hats, an innovative apparatus to wrap around a rubber tree so as to prevent damage from rains and moisture and increase the volume of latex that can be gathered per harvesting season.
“This project is a joint effort between the three parties aiming to help increase rubber production of farmers in Rayong province,” he said. “The RAOT has submitted 2,000 sets of rubber hat prototypes to Chitralada Institute to test and improve the final product at a 30 rai demonstration plantation in Nawat Agricultural Learning Centre in Payubnai subdistrict, Wangchan district.”
The project was conceived when the RAOT noticed that latex volumes during the rainy season are often lower than the annual average, as rains made some of the gathered latex unusable, while the normal countermeasures used by local farmers, such as covering the tree with plastic sheets, are not effective and some have to stop harvesting when it rains.
“The rubber hat that we make can effectively increase the days that farmers can harvest latex by 30 days on average per year and increase total production volume by 2kg per rai per day, or a total of 60kg per rai per year,” said Nakorn. “Each hat is made from 500 grams of rubber and therefore will give a boost to the local rubber processing industry and help alleviate the oversupply of rubber in domestic markets.”