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CLOSE THIS BOOKBetter Farming Series 25 - The Rubber Tree (FAO - INADES, 1977, 31 p.)
VIEW THE DOCUMENT(introduction...)
VIEW THE DOCUMENTWhy rubber trees are grown
VIEW THE DOCUMENTWhere rubber trees are grown

Better Farming Series 25 - The Rubber Tree (FAO - INADES, 1977, 31 p.)


This manual is a translation and adaptation of "L'hva," published by the Agri- Service- Afrique of the Institut africain pour le dveloppement conomique et social (INADES), and forms part of a series of 26 booklets. Grateful acknowledgement is made to the publishers for making available this text, which it is hoped will find widespread use at the intermediate level of agricultural education and training in English speaking countries.

The original texts were prepared for an African environment and this is naturally reflected in the English version. However, it is expected that many of the manuals of the series a list of which will be found on the inside front cover will also be of value for training in many other parts of the world. Adaptations can be made to the text where necessary owing to different climatic and ecological conditions.

Applications for permission to issue this manual in other languages are welcomed. Such applications should be addressed to: Director, Publications Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.

The author of this English version is Mr. A.J. Henderson, former Chief of the FAO Editorial Branch.

Why rubber trees are grown

The rubber tree is grown because rubber is made from the latex in its bark.

The rubber tree has roots made up of a tap- root and creeping roots.

In the bark of the rubber tree there is a liquid called latex.

The latex is harvested by making a slit in the bark, that is, by cutting a piece of bark.

The latex makes the rubber that is used:

· in the tires of bicycles, motorcars and airplanes;
· for the soles of shoes;
· for many other things.

Rubber is in great demand all over the world; more and more of it is needed.

But it is very difficult to grow rubber trees well and to harvest the latex.

They cannot be grown everywhere.

They need:

· a high temperature;
· plenty of water;
· moist air, though they can withstand a dry season.

Where rubber trees are grown

Rubber trees are grown in regions that are hot and moist, that is:

· in Africa (250 000 tons of natural rubber);
· in Central and South America (31 700 tons of natural rubber)
· in Asia, which is the chief producer (3 207 100 tons of natural rubber).

In Africa they are grown mainly in the forest regions.

In Africa the chief producers of natural rubber are:


100 000 tons


80 000 tons


35 675 tons

Ivory Coast

18 000 tons


12 000 tons

Central African Empire

1 250 tons


1 700 tons


1 100 tons


160 tons

These production Figures (for 1974) are from the FAO Production Yearbook 1974.
To grow good rubber trees and harvest plenty of latex, you must:

· prepare the seedlings well;
· make a good plantation;
· look after the plantation;
· harvest the latex well.