Image: DPL smallholder farmers from Monaragala
International rubber gloves exporter Dipped Products PLC has distributed 30,000 rubber saplings in its sustained drive to support the future yield and income of its Monaragala farmer network.
The company’s distribution initiative began in March 2021, when DPL established its first rubber plant nursery and will culminate with one million rubber trees in total planted by 2025.
The rubber trees will begin to yield latex after five years of vegetative development and will generate a steady source of income to farmers for the next twenty to thirty years.
“Dipped Products PLC has always been committed to empowering its smallholder rubber farmer communities. Under Firstlight, we initiated our very own plant nursery to reinforce the rubber tapping potential of the community, which will help elevate their future income. Over the course of this year, we look to distribute 100,000 rubber saplings in Monaragala and 30,000 in Kegalle to support our loyal farmer networks in those regions,” said Dipped Products PLC Deputy Managing Director, Pushpika Janadheera.
Presently, smallholder rubber farmers produce approximately 65% of Sri Lanka’s annual rubber crop making the sustainable livelihood of rubber smallholder farmers a mission of national significance.
In addition to providing latex, full-grown rubber trees have the potential to sequester atmospheric carbon into biomass and soil, each reducing 20kg of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere every year. The sustainability of rubber lands also plays a key role in maintaining the balance of sensitive ecosystems, as a natural extension of Sri Lanka’s forest cover.
Established in 1976, Dipped Products is one of the leading non-medical rubber glove manufacturers in the world, and accounts for a 5 percent share of the global market. The company’s products now reach 70 countries. DPL Firstlight is the company’s unique, multi award-winning supplier development initiative which empowers over 6,000 farmers island-wide and contributes to their socio-economic progress.