As part of efforts to create employment, revive the rubber sector and its value chain across the country, the National Rubber Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NARPPMAN), has disclosed that it would engage 640, 000 unemployed Nigerians by establishing and replanting 160, 000 hectares of rubber plantations from 2020 to 2030.
The Association also stated that the project would contribute to the management of the natural resources by developing the production of a natural renewable raw materials, provide to the communities, the state and the country a sustainable means for poverty alleviation.
The National President of NARPPMAN, Mr Peter Igbinosun in an interview with journalists in Abuja said, the association will view rubber cultivation as the main business of producing raw materials for other industries within and outside the value chain.
Igbinosun also noted that the association will collaborate with key players in the industry, the research institute, private companies and individuals to train and establish bud wood gardens and rubber nurseries in each producing local government areas.
To achieve this, the president said the association will solicit for grants and loans from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Industry (BOI) Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and other financial bodies to establish and expand rubber plantations, factories and empower off-takers in the value chain.
On boosting capacity utilization, he said the association would encourage out growers and estate farms so as to boost production of the natural rubber as raw materials needed to keep the factories active and increase the percentage contribution in the world.
He said: “We shall be deliberate in ensuring quality rubber production from the field to the factories in order to improve the quality of processed rubber in Nigeria through training and extension services that will be provided by the collaborations with government and private companies.
“We shall ensure the harmonization of prices of products such as lumps and latex to create a level playing field for all off-takers by discussing with relevant government agencies to revamp the rubber.”
Also in a separate interview, the National Assistant Secretary of the Association, Mrs Nnenna Aladum, urged the state governments to acquire lands in their various states targeting so many hectares to plant rubber which would subsequently help in employment of grassroots.
According to her, “money from the rubber value chain would boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the various states.”