Rub­ber farm­ers soon to mar­ket own brand

The Philippine Star - - BUSINESS - – Louise Mau­reen Simeon

Lo­cal farm­ers will start pro­duc­ing their own rub­ber un­der a lo­cal brand and mar­ket th­ese to man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies.

Start­ing Fe­bru­ary next year, the Philip­pine Rub­ber Farm­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (PRFA) will be­gin pro­cess­ing raw rub­ber into mo­tor­cy­cle and small trac­tor tires un­der the brand name Pilip­inas Agila Tires, said Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary Em­manuel Piñol .

“The rub­ber farm­ers them­selves will mar­ket the tires made out of their farm pro­duce to mo­tor­cy­cle own­ers and hand-held farm trac­tors man­u­fac­tur­ers and farm­ers,” he said.

Piñol said this would free the rub­ber farm­ers from the con­trol of traders who base their buy­ing prices for raw rub­ber on world mar­ket prices.

Valen­zuela-based Leo Tire Man­u­fac­tur­ing Corp. agreed to a “tolling ar­range­ment” where it would process the farm­ers’ semi-pro­cessed rub­ber called SPR 20 into mo­tor­cy­cle and hand-held trac­tor tires.

Un­der the agree­ment, PRFA will buy the raw rub­ber pro­duce of its mem­bers and process this into SPR 20 which will then be sold to the man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany for the pro­duc­tion of fast-mov­ing rub­ber prod­ucts.

The DA will pro­vide tech­ni­cal and fi­nan­cial sup­port to PRFA for this project.

Leo Tire Man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­duces tire brands like Man­hat­tan, Bull­dog and Leo tires.

Gov­ern­ment statis­tics show that there are 3.58 mil­lion reg­is­tered mo­tor­cy­cles in the coun­try, most of them are us­ing tires man­u­fac­tured abroad.

“Pro­cess­ing farm­ers’ raw rub­ber into high value prod­ucts is the so­lu­tion iden­ti­fied to break the con­trol of traders and mid­dle­men on the pric­ing of rub­ber cup lumps,” Piñol said.

From a high of P100 per kilo­gram about 10 years ago, prices of raw rub­ber have dropped to only P25 per kilo to­day, prompt­ing many farm­ers to cut down their rub­ber trees and shift to other crops.

Rub­ber tree farm­ing has been a steady source of in­come for many farm­ers in Min­danao, in­clud­ing Palawan and Ne­gros Ori­en­tal.

The PRFA will seek the as­sis­tance of the De­part­ment of Trade and In­dus­try to get the nec­es­sary gov­ern­ment li­censes to man­u­fac­ture and mar­ket its tire prod­ucts next year.

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