Collecting latex from rubber trees © V. Le Guen, CIRAD


Natural rubber, a material of strategic importance for Europe, is the leading biosourced elastomer. It accounts for 47% of the global elastomer market. It is mostly (80%) produced by family farms of between 0.5 and 10 hectares, mainly in Asia. CIRAD is working to improve smallholder rubber growing, particularly by adapting it to climate change, and helping players in the value chain produce more while preserving the environment.

The figures for rubber

  • 47% of global elastomer production
  • 10 million hectares cultivated by millions of smallholders
  • 10 million tonnes of natural rubber produced per year
  • 80% of the natural rubber produced is used by the automobile industry.

The issues

  • Preserving rubber growing, which is vital for millions of smallholders
  • Tackling the challenges of competition with synthetic rubbers and dependence on a niche market
  • Promoting the capacity of plantings to recycle atmospheric carbon.