Coronavirus Puts 100,000 Brazilian Rubber Plantation Workers in Subsistence Danger : Report in IRSG Blog

  • 2020-03-26 12:00:00
  • Reporter

An interesting report has been featured on the International Rubber Study Group’s (IRSG) blog, authored by the CEO of APABOR (Association of Producers and Processing Plants of the State of São Paulo) and Director de el Comité de Plantaciones SLTC, Diogo Esperante (Planthec)  and Dr. Juan Sierra (Rubber Route) - Miembro del Comité de Plantaciones SLTC.

The report details the plight of the rubber plantation workers in Brazil, who have been dealing with the impact of the global coronavirus. Emphasizing the severity of the economic crisis caused by the outbreak, the report explains how the isolation and quarantine measures implement to stop the spread of the virus have severely disrupted commercial and industrial activities, negatively impacting production, consumption and investment. The authors go on to say that the pandemic will thus prevents the recovery of the global economy, which had earlier been projected for 2020. “In this context, it is necessary to prioritize the immediate objectives of the fight against the pandemic and the control of it’s effects on economic activity, “ the report says.

 According to the report, on March 20, in Brazil, tire companies-the largest consumers of technically specified granulated rubber (TSR-10) in the country, including Pirelli, Prometeon and Goodyear, confirmed the closure of the factories and suspension of TSR-10 deliveries. This led to the paralysis of the country's processing plants and, consequently, the restriction of purchases of cup-lumps by small, medium and large producers. The authors warn that other companies are about to announce the closure of their plants, which means a possible shutdown in the sector.

In Brazil, there are approximately 30,400 people whose livelihood is in some way linked to the production of natural rubber, with an annual production of 185 thousand tonnes of dry rubber per year. The report says that maintaining the income of the rubber tappers is a matter of great concern, since once the purchases are interrupted, the crisis will manifest itself in the farms.

Projecting the income of these rubber tappers between March, April and May, the loss could amount to $17.9 million. Taking into account their direct relatives (an average of 3 people per household), about 100,000 people will be affected.

The report details how, without access to credit lines, which are being hampered by financial institutions, the primary sector needs to find outlets to keep production stable, as well as a minimum of income or subsistence conditions for workers. APABOR is seeking alternatives through the Brazilian government and industry to help.

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