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India-Cambodia rubber venture

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:

India plans to produce latex concentrate for the manufacture of specialised products with high tensile strength and resilience from fresh latex collected in Cambodian rubber plantations.
 
Pol Sopha, director-general of the general directorate of rubber at the Ministry of Agriculture, told Khmer Times yesterday that this was a pilot project for both Cambodia and India.
 
“India has a factory producing rubber latex concentrate in Snoul district in Kratie province and wants to buy fresh latex from Cambodian rubber plantations in the northeast provinces,” said Mr Sopha.
 
“For India, this factory is in its pilot stage as it is now only producing 500 litres of latex concentrate per hour.
 
“For Cambodia, the latex concentrate industry is new and we are also piloting the sales of freshly collected latex to this Indian factory,” he added.
 
Processing of natural rubber latex into high quality latex concentrate of 60 percent dry rubber content is done through centrifugation.
 
“Fresh latex, because of the high water content and presence of non-rubber solids, cannot be used directly for manufacturing any rubber products. Therefore, a proper system for preservation and concentration has been developed by the Indians,” said Mr Sopha.
 
With an estimated 687,000 hectares of land under rubber cultivation, India ranks fourth among the top rubber producing countries of the world.
 
Mr Sopha said latex concentrate is used for making surgical gloves and many other specialised products in the medical sector.
 
“It has high uncured gel strength, excellent vulcanisation properties, high tensile strength and resilience,” he said.
 
Lim Heng, vice president of An Mady Group Co. Ltd., said the latex concentrate industry will open up more markets for Cambodia’s rubber exports.
 
“This move with India will be good for Cambodia’s rubber sector,” said Mr Heng.

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