Rubber cultivation in Sri Lanka was started by the English. It is our second biggest revenue earner. Rubber is not a native of Sri Lanka. It is a native of South America. But it grows very well in the middle country of Sri Lanka. It too, needs plenty of water and sunshine.
Many companies do rubber cultivation here because it does not pay very much to have it on small scale. Most of the companies grow rubber on estates of over hundred acres.
As in tea estates, there are gangs of laborers who tap rubber which needs skill, care and experience. The laborers here are mostly Sinhalese, but they do not start work well after the sun has risen and the climate in the mid country is not very cold. But the payment here is too poor. Once the rubber latex, (milk), is collected in to the buckets of about three gallons each, it is taken to the factory and heated and out comes the elastic substance we call rubber which is used for tires, tubes and for other rubber products. Most of the rubber produced is exported. There is chemically produced rubber, known as artificial rubber, in other countries, but natural rubber is far superior to the artificially manufactured rubber.
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