Malaysia is the world’s third largest producer of natural rubber. In 2012, its output was 2.25 million tonnes. About 90% of that is produced by smallholders. The Malaysian Government aims to maintain its country’s premier position as a major producer and exporter, while uplifting the living standard of rubber smallholders. To this end it has initiated the Low Intensity Tapping System, programmes (LITS).
This initiative makes available technologies that stimulate latex production of the rubber trees. By adopting this technology, rubber smallholders can increase their income. The need to spend fewer tapping days means farmers have more time for other economic activities to further enhance their income and lifestyle. Hired tappers can tap a larger area in a given time, thus reducing the labour problem in the rubber industry.
Through the Malaysian LITS program, the latex mattress industry is assured of a continuing supply of quality material.