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Fed Govt exports 60,000 tons of natural rubber yearly

By on March 26, 2011

Nigeria has increased its production capacity of natural rubber by 2.5 per cent and now exports 60,000 tons of natural rubber annually.

This is to bring production capacity to what it was in the sixties.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs Fatima Bamidele, made this disclosure in Abuja yesterday on the occasion of the validation workshop on development of national programme on Tree and Horticultural crops seeds/seedling.

She noted that there was steady decline in production till 1986 when Nigeria had increased production, which was engendered by rising demand for crude rubber in the international market. She said that as at today, the government has stepped up with the exportation of approximately 60,000 tons of natural rubber.

The Permanent Secretary stated that before now palm oil was generating great revenue for the country before the diversification to crude oil. According to her “cocoa and cashew are major foreign exchange earners and Nigeria has comparative advantage in their production. The Presidential initiative on cocoa, palm oil, rubber and cashew has boosted their production and exports. Nigeria recorded 20-fold increase in the production of cashew from 1990 to 2000”.

The National target of planting 420,000 hectares from 2007 -2011 would require the production and update of 52.5m seed, she said.

Also “the Presidential initiative on vegetable oil production had a target of producing 15 million fresh fruits bunch and 50tons of palm kernels. It was to rehabilitate 125,000 hectares of existing plantations, which were 30 years old and above and produce 2.5m seedling of improved NIFOR Tenera sprouted nuts over a five year period.

The federal government with respect to rubber production, she added, has: “initiated two programmes for development of tree crops, namely: the national accelerated industrial crop programme in 1989 and the Presidential initiative on Tree Crops.”

Source : The Nation