In 2021, the Directorate General (DG) of Plantations of the Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) targets replanting smallholder rubber plantations of 1,100 ha. The goal is to increase the productivity of rubber.
The Directorate General of Plantations noted that 168,000 ha of smallholder rubber plantations needed rejuvenation. Currently, the area of rubber plantations is around 3.6 million ha, with a production of 3.7 million tons. Meanwhile, the national rubber production in 2020 is 2.884 million tons.
Heru Tri Widarto, Director of Perennial Plants and Fresheners, Directorate General of Plantations, Ministry of Agriculture, Wednesday (19/5), said the national average rubber productivity is 1.01 tons/ha. If replanted with superior seeds, the productivity can increase to 2 tons/ha.
Heru said the low productivity of smallholder rubber plants was around 600 kg/ha. Therefore, in 2021 the Directorate General of Plantations targets a community rubber replanting program of 1,100 ha.
Intercropping with Corn
The Ministry of Agriculture encourages intercropping between rubber and corn, one of which is in Meranti Regency, Riau Province, with good production results and has already been harvested, said Heru.
He mentioned that the replanting of rubber with corn intercropping from 2018 to 2021 covers 900 ha, of which Meranti Regency is the largest with 100 ha.
According to him, this intercropping program can support national food security. If it is integrated with corn, about 50-70% of the total old rubber plantations of 168,000 ha, about 84,000 ha of rubber plantations can be used for planting corn.
However, Heru reminded that to run the rubber and corn intercropping program, a clear legal umbrella was needed not to become a finding of the BPK. ***