QUEZON CITY—The Philippines government expects the country soon will take advantage of the rising demand for natural rubber, anticipating a 3.7-percent grow rate during the next decade.
"We need to take advantage of the present opportunity in rubber and note that the Asia-Pacific is expected to continue to have the lion's share of production," Philippines Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said in a statement issued by the Philippines Information Agency.
Alcala said the region is projected to account for 90 percent of the world's rubber production in 2013, with Thailand and Indonesia producing almost 60 percent of natural rubber.
The Philippines contributes a little over 1 percent of global NR production, most coming from smallholders, owners of three to 10 hectares of land.
"Although our share is very small at the moment, I am confident that we can become a major player soon because of our vast land area available for production, and the technical expertise available to our rubber planters," Alcala said.