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Plan for rubber tree replanting [25-02-2011]  
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The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry will propose to the cabinet for the replanting of 40 ha rubber trees per year to meet strong demand.

Its Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said his ministry would also propose 13,000 ha of new plantation annually to increase rubber production.

“We are trying to increase the production of rubber by replanting,” he said after the exchange of agreements between Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB), Felda Rubber Industries Sdn Bhd and Mardec Bhd yesterday.

“We will propose the plans to the cabinet as soon as possible and hopefully get a concrete decision before the end of next month,” said Dompok.

Malaysia currently has 1.2 million ha of rubber plantation, of which 80% is in production.

Dompok said the country now produced less than one million tonnes of rubber a year.

He hopes to double the production to two million tonnes by 2020.

Earlier in his speech, Dompok said Felda Rubber Industries and Mardec have been selected as recipients of technology transfer and commercialisation for two advanced rubber products – ekoprena and pureprena – developed by MRB.

He said the commercialisation would enable both Felda Rubber Industries and Mardec to produce ekoprena and pureprena with an initial capacity of 12,000 tonnes a year and up to a target capacity of 300,000 tonnes annually by 2020.

He said the project was expected to result in gross national income totalling RM1.3bil and create 1,000 jobs by 2020.

Ekoprena is a form of epoxidised natural rubber obtained by the epoxidation of natural rubber latex.

Dompok said ekoprena, an established class of specialty rubber, was regarded as a green material for rubber product-manufacturing industry, particularly in tyre-making sector, as it was produced from a renewable natural source.

Pureprena is a highly purified natural rubber and an eco-efficient form of deproteinised natural rubber with distinguised raw rubber properties for dynamic and engineering applications.

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