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Economic Analysis of Compensating Systems for the Scarcity of Tapping Labour in the Rubber Industry in Côte d’Ivoire

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Labour is the principal constraint in rubber cultivation. To solve this problem a study was conducted at smallholdings in Côte d’Ivoire to assess Low Intensive Tapping System (LITS) in comparison to the traditional High Intensive Tapping System (HITS) on clones PB 260 and GT 1. Analyses were based on protability of LITS and efciency of agronomic and physiological parameters of rubber trees. Results showed that the more protable LITS were S/4U d4 ET10% 12/y (GT 1), S/2 d4 ET5% 4/y (PB 260) and S/2 d5 ET5% 10/y (GT 1). Using these systems, the tapper requirement was reduced by 25 to 40% and the land-man ratio increased from 3 to 4 or 5 ha per man. Rubber yield was increased by 22% only for upward tapping of GT 1. In downward tapping of PB 260 and GT 1, rubber yield was of the same order. The impact on production due to the reduction of labour and the increase in stimulation was optimal when the tapper was remunerated by tapping days. Agronomic performance, physiological proles and TPD incidence were similar or lower compared to HITS. These three tapping systems turned out to be the best alternatives to LITS for these clones.

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