Continuing to strengthen the farmer co-operative societies in its loyalty network, Dipped Products PLC (DPL) distributed rubber plants to smallholder farmers in the Monaragala District under its flagship sustainability initiative: DPL Firstlight.
The plants for the inaugural distribution were sourced from a new nursery established by DPL. Setting in motion plans to continue the initiative annually, the company will expand the facility to hold rubber plants by three fold by the end of the year.
“Through the DPL Firstlight initiative, we have worked towards empowering farmers in the district for over 12 years. We hope with the distribution of these plants, which will be planted across the district, to vastly improve the incomes of our farming communities while contributing to the annual rubber production of the country thereby reducing the need to import rubber.
Additionally, we have been extending the Firstlight campaign to farmers in Kegalle and Ratnapura districts. We are delighted to be strengthening our suppliers and hope this initiative will create a strong farming community with the potential for sustainable growth,” DPL Deputy Managing Director Pushpika Janadheera said.
Working closely with smallholder rubber farming communities in Monaragala, DPL has sought to support the essential contributions and value additions to the national rubber production while ensuring that farmers are guaranteed a fair price for field latex. The company further optimises the farmers’ ability to derive maximum yields by supplying essential agricultural inputs and equipment and complementing these efforts with education and awareness building.
Additionally, DPL has worked to resolve a wide range of issues impacting the smallholder farming communities by establishing programmes to enhance rural health, education, and recreational facilities. Recently, DPL also distributed fertiliser among DPL Loyalty Farmer societies across the Monaragala District under the Firstlightinitiative.
Presently, smallholder farmers produce approximately 65% of Sri Lanka’s annual rubber crop, with the sector as a whole accounting for 0.2% of the nation’s total GDP, making the sustainable livelihood of rubber smallholder farmers a mission of national significance.
Similarly, rubber lands’ sustainability plays a pivotal role in maintaining the balance of sensitive ecosystems, given that rubber trees serve as a natural extension of Sri Lanka’s forest cover.
Established in 1976, Dipped Products is a global leader in protective hand-wear, serving close to 5% of global demand for natural and synthetic latex based medical, household and industrial gloves. Backed by a strong reputation for innovation, quality, and responsible manufacturing practices, its products now reach over 70 countries. With manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka and Thailand, DPL is also one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ethical gloves, offering a holistic value proposition to all its partners across the value chain.