THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has dared farmers who are into rubber farming in Zamboanga Sibugay to produce good quality rubber.

Sitti Amina Jain, DTI regional director, made the challenge after it was discovered that some of the farmers in Zamboanga Sibugay mix chemicals to increase the weight of the rubber produce.

Jain said that some farmers use battery solution as coagulant to make the rubber produce heavier, as it has strong water retention.

But he stressed that the battery solution reduces the value of the rubber since it lessens the Dried Rubber Content (DRC), which is the basis for the calculation of prices.

Joel Ebol, Zamboanga Sibugay provincial board member, echoed Jain’s challenge, as he called on farmers to produce quality rubber.

Ebol, the chair of the agriculture committee, noted that Zamboanga Sibugay is the number one rubber-producing province in the country.

“I am challenging our farmers to make sure that you produce good quality rubber. Let us cleanse the industry in the province,” Ebol said.

Jain said the officials of Yokohama, the only car tire manufacturer in the country, told them that they will not buy rubber from Zamboanga Sibugay because of its poor quality.

Jain noted that Yokohama only source out locally about 10-20 percent of the firm’s natural rubber requirement, although it is the car tire manufacturer in the country. (Bong Garcia)