Stakeholders in the rubber production subsector in the country have called on the Federal government to set aside intervention funds for the development of rubber plantations, processing and manufacturing.
The stakeholders chart the way forward for the production of the crop says rubber production is a goldmine that can be an export earner for the country.
Peter Igbinosun, the newly elected national president of National Rubber Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NARPPMAN) said the intervention fund should attract a single digit interest rate of 3 and 5 percent with a monatorium period of four years considering the gestation period of the crop. He recommended that the repayment period should spread over 10 to 15 years.
As a way of easing the challenges faced by natural rubber farmers and processors, he advocated the establishment of an agency for bulk purchase of machinery/equipment, saying it will facilitate the acquisition of tractors, implements, land development machineries and equipment.
Igbinosun enumerated that the country will benefit greatly if the rubber subsector which has been long neglected, is well positioned although it is a capital and labor intensive industry.
“Rubber grown in 24 states of Nigeria, including Kaduna, Taraba, Kwara and Adamawa among others has the capacity to create wealth, enhance non-oil sector foreign exchange earnings and can also greatly reduce crime and youth militancy”, he said.
“Rubber is in high demand all over the world, plays a major role as a foreign exchange earner and contributor to the growth of our economy. Natural rubber is a strategic material as it cannot be replaced in many important applications”, he added.
According to him, there are over 50 by-products of rubber cutting across all major sectors of the economy, disclosing too that it is used for manufacturing of costumes, hand-gloves, PPE uses in fighting covid-19, natural rubber latex, products such as adhesives, mattresses, pillows, seat cushions, car seats, baby feeding bottle teats, condoms, surgical, domestic and industrial gloves among others,
Business Day, August 19, 2020
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