Rubber Plantations

The traditional source of the natural rubber latex is the Para rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). This species is indigenous to South America. The first suggestion to introduce Hevea in India as a source of rubber and as a replacement for the native Ficus elastica was made by Clements Markam in the year 1865. By early 1880’s Government plantations in India were well on their way to being established. John Joseph Murphy, often acknowledged as the father of Indian rubber plantation industry founded India’s first commercial rubber plantation in 1902 at Yendayar, Kerala. Today, India is one of the top producers of natural rubber and the state of Kerala contributes to more than 90% of the production, with the districts of Kottayam and Pathanamthitta having maximum area under production.