New Delhi, July 21: A Kerala MP has requested the Centre to set up a rubber university in his state, noting that carbon sequestration potential of rubber trees is greater than most other species used in afforestation programmes.
Kerala Congress (M) leader Jose K Mani has written to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stressing the need for setting up the university in his Lok Sabha constituency of Kottayam, which holds a dominant position in rubber cultivation in the country.
In his letter, Mani said studies have revealed that rubber plants have more absorption capacity to neutralise carbon dioxide emissions than any other tropical plant.
"Global warming has as much impact on Indian climate and environment as any other country and rubber cultivation will go a long way to curtail carbon dioxide emission, thereby qualifying for financial support from international community," he said.
"On the lines of similar proposals for agricultural universities, organic farming and sports projects to harness the youth power, I suggest that a rubber university be set up in Kottayam," Mani wrote.
Talking to PTI, Mani said studies conducted by the Rubber Research Institute of India and other institutes have established the excellent carbon sequestration capacity of natural rubber plantations.
Laying emphasis on the need for a higher education sector dedicated to rubber, he said such an institute would help rubber cultivators in the largest rubber producing state in the country.
According to the Rubber Board, a statutory body under the central government, over a million households in India are directly dependent on natural rubber plantations for their livelihood.