GRI brought together natural rubber farmers and crop (rice) farmers to show their connectivity through its GREEN X Circle initiative, at an event held in Monaragala, Sri Lanka recently. These two farming communities are key stakeholders in the GRI value chain. The event signified the continuation of the series of events organized through GRI’s GREEN X Circle initiative, where the concept was introduced to the crop farmers for the first time.
The GREEN X Circle connects the natural rubber farmer who provides the raw material for production of specialty tires, and the crop farmer, who is the end-user of the agricultural tires produced by GRI. Through this initiative, connectivity and collaboration are fostered between the two farming ecosystems while placing emphasis on sustainability principles.
GRI’s GREEN X Circle is a global endeavor, in which GRI has now begun to introduce this concept to the Sri Lankan agricultural community, where at an event held in 2020 the concept of the GREEN X Circle was first introduced to the rubber farmers. GRI was able to demonstrate the similarities and connections between the two communities by bringing the key stakeholders of GRI’s GREEN X Circle together on one platform. Furthermore, GRI was able to show the company’s contribution to strengthening and supporting rubber and crop (rice) farmers through this initiative.
GRI explained the superior quality and features of the tires, which in turn increases the productivity and efficiency of the agricultural machinery of the crop farmers.
“We can support and strengthen the rubber farmers by purchasing the rubber that they produce and manufacture a tire that is of international standards. When the productivity of the machines used by crop farmers increases, it benefits Sri Lanka and rubber farmers. Through the GREEN X Circle program, collaboration and a mutually beneficial relationship are fostered,” said Dr. Mahesh Ranasoma, CEO of GRI.
Signifying the agricultural focus of the connectivity between the two farming communities the event was held at the traditional paddy threshing grounds of a paddy field. The special occasion marked the connection of GRI’s GREEN X Circle. The rice farmers presented the rubber farmers with their harvest of rice, which showed their appreciation to the rubber farmers for producing good quality rubber that was sourced to produce the GRI agricultural tires, which are used in their machinery.
“We started supplying GRI with rubber about a year ago and they were the first company to provide us with a stable and fair price. We attended the training programs and workshops organized by GRI, and we were able to gain much knowledge on sustainable practices. With GRI’s support we have received a new lease of life to continue with rubber farming,” said P. Dayarathna, a rubber farmer.
As GRI has inculcated sustainable practices in the growing, tapping, and processing of the natural raw material, rubber, the tires produced are of the highest quality, which in turn enables the crop farmer to increase their yield through the usage of GRI tires.
Susantha Siriwardena, a rice farmer explained, “I am using GRI tires in my tractors, and we have been able to work with greater efficiency enabling higher productivity. I am extremely happy to know that the tires we use are manufactured with the rubber supplied by the rubber farmers of Monaragala.”
“There are three parties required to take the GREEN X Circle program forward; that is the rubber farmer, crop farmer, and GRI,” said Dr. Mahesha Ranasoma. “GRI supplies Sri Lankan-made tires using Sri Lankan rubber to the international market. Thus, the rubber farmers in Sri Lanka, the crop farmers here and abroad are connected through the products that we manufacture. We can take this forward as the only initiative of this nature in the world, which will bring great pride to the country. GRI’s GREEN X Circle program will benefit future generations to come,” he further added.
GRI has expanded its business globally by taking high-grade Sri Lankan specialty tires to the world. The company produces material handling solid tires, radial agriculture tires and construction tires using locally produced natural rubber. GRI has sales offices and warehouses in nine countries, and a business presence in more than fifty countries. In 2018, GRI opened an advanced manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka primarily to produce radial agricultural tires. In 2020, GRI also commenced construction of a new mixing facility for tire compounds and in 2021 laid the foundation to expand its advanced specialty tire plant.