Rubber Production: FMARD, stakeholders advocate revitalization of rubber sector

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The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has taken steps to resuscitate Rubber Production in the Country. This according to the ministry is to increase National Wealth Creation, Boost Raw Materials for Production for local Industries and Exportation.

Speaking during the Meeting with the Delegation from International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), at the Ministry’s Conference Room, in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe stated that the Federal Government is committed towards diversifying the economy of the nation from Oil Dependency to Agriculture, with focus on Arable and Cash Crops for Economic Growth and Development in the Country.

Dr. Umakhihe noted that the Ministry over the years had been prioritizing and promoting the development of rubber value chain with the distribution of improved budded rubber stumps plating materials, growth enhancers to farmers to raise plantations and the facilitation of training on nursery development as well as tapping techniques. He also stated that part of the initiative was Identification and Management of White Rot Rubber Diseases under Rehabilitation and Management and Replanting of existing Rubber Farms across Rubber Producing States in the Country.

The Permanent Secretary revealed that the Ministry in collaboration with Lohashilpi Sheeting Processing Technology had established Rubber Resource Centre (RRC) in Ovia South West Local Government Area, Edo State. He therefore urged the Organization to ensure the full implementation of the plan as Stakeholders while pledging the Ministry’s readiness to support the initiative by creating an enabling Environment for Business to thrive.

Moreso, the Head of the delegation, Executive Secretary, International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), Prof, Joseph Adelegan emphasised that the mandate of the group was to revive the Rubber Sub Sector which was on the decline and stimulate investment in the Sector. He also mentioned some challenges which include low productivity of the existing plantation due to old age, poor Agronomic practices and continued use of low yielding seedlings among others.

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