Besides producing latex from the rubber trees, there is another small income that rubber tappers got from the rubber tree. The latex that flowed into the cup in the morning will have a layer remaining on the flowing path. These latex would have dried up by the next morning. Before the tappers cut another layer of the skin to extract latex, they would peel off the dried rubber on the flowing path, left overnight.
There are also excess latex left overnight in the cup; which will also considered as scrapped. These scrapped rubber are then collected and kept aside for a few weeks until there is enough amount to sell (which is earlier dried in the sun). Whenever it rains and the rubber tappers cannot tap rubber, they may also go into their small holdings to collect these rubber scraps. These scraps may also be sold to the 'peraih gotah' (middleman rubber trader) in the small town but at a lower price. Yet, it is still income to the rubber tappers.
During school holidays, to speed up rubber taping, children are encouraged to help their parents 'tapping rubber' by picking up and collecting these rubber scraps before their parents do the tapping proper on the rubber tree. It also forms part of income generating for the children during school holidays. It does not add to much, but this is the start of exposing their siblings to rubber tapping; which may sometimes be the only job and income earning ways for generations in the family.
2 weeks ago