The National Rubber Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, has pleaded with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to create credit schemes for the development of rubber and other long gestation crops.
This is contained in a communique the association issued in Abuja on Saturday at the end of its National Conference.
The theme of the conference is “Industrialisation of the Rubber Sub-Sector in Nigeria.
The association called on the Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry and NEXIM Bank, to be fully involved in the development of the rubber sub-sector.
The association said this could be done by making funds available for rubber development at friendly interest rates for small and industrial rubber farmers.
“Government should implement all the relevant policies already developed to boost the agricultural sectors.
“Government should take up the responsibility to measure out modalities to assist in rubber production technology to further enhance the promotion and sustainability of the rubber sector.
“State governments should collaborate with the association in the development of rubber value chain in their states by making land available for the development of rubber plantations.
“Government should also increase agricultural subsidies to rubber farmers by construction of smokehouses in clusters.
“This is for effective storage facilities, basic infrastructural facilities, agrichemicals and fertiliser to boost rubber production,” it said.
The association further called for regular training and workshops for rubber farmers and young students.
It also urged the government to provide grants and encourage soft loans at single digit interest rates for rubber farmers;
“There is urgent need for government to collaborate with the organised private sector to factor in aggressive programmes for the development of the rubber sector.
“This is due to the potential it has to contribute to the Nigerian economy and diversification efforts of the federal government for the sustainable development of the country.
“Government should also enhance the research institute sector, to enable them develop technologies to improve the rubber sector.
“Government should expand and enhance the extension services to assist farmers in the rubber sector,” the communique said.
The association solicited the federal government’s intervention by providing 100,000 hectares of land in each state for rubber production.
The communique said that the participants commended the association for creating a platform for stakeholders to engage one another in discussions relating to the development of the rubber sub-sector.
The conference was organised by the association in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Other collaborators in the conference which held from Oct. 21 to Oct. 22 were the Raw Materials Research and Development Council and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.
The communique is signed by the president and secretary of the association, Mr Igbinosun Idowu-Peter and Mr Orimisan Ogunjumelo respectively.