There is hope that the rubber subsector in Nigeria would soon be revitalised following the readiness of critical stakeholders to plant in 15,000 hectares of farmland in Cross River State.
The planting project, planned by the National Rubber Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NARPPMAN), will last for 10 years. It will include planting new nurseries and rejuvenating older ones.
The state chairman of NARPPMAN, The Rev Umo E. Inameti, disclosed this when he inaugurated local government area chapters of the association in Calabar few days ago.
He said the creation of the association became necessary due to the inactivity of the old National Rubber Association of Nigeria (NRAN) that had paralysed the development and growth of the rubber subsector.
He said from the envisaged revitalisation project embarked upon by key players in the state, such as Royal International Farms and Estate Ltd, the association would create 90,000 jobs and directly engage 45,000 persons, as well as additional 50,000, through indirect employment.
Inameti said, “The revitalisation of rubber farming will enable Cross River State to restore its lost financial glory. We are about to plant 15,000 hectares of rubber in the next 10 years. This will bring income of about N40 billion or more per annum to the state government.
“We have to help communities and the state by engaging in massive planting of rubber trees, and their development. This subsector was neglected for too long, resulting in the state and individuals losing staggering sums of money.
“Our main objective in the state is to vigorously revitalise rubber farming, using the value chain and rearing new nurseries,” he said.