Create credit programs for rubber, other crops, the association pleads with CBN

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The National Association of Rubber Producers, Processors and Traders of Nigeria has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to establish credit programs for the development of rubber and other long gestation crops.

This is contained in a statement that the association issued on Saturday in Abuja at the end of its national conference.

The theme of the conference is “Industrialization of the Rubber Sub-Sector in Nigeria.

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The association called on the Bank of Agriculture, the Bank of Industry and the NEXIM Bank to get fully involved in the development of the rubber industry.

The association said this could be done by making funds available for rubber development at favorable interest rates for small industrial rubber producers.

“The government should implement all relevant policies already developed to stimulate the agricultural sectors.

“The government should take responsibility for measuring the modalities of aid to rubber production technology to further improve the promotion and sustainability of the rubber sector.

“State governments should collaborate with the association in developing the rubber value chain in their states by making land available for rubber plantation development.

“The government should also increase agricultural subsidies to rubber producers by building cluster smokehouses.

“These are efficient storage facilities, basic infrastructure, agrochemicals and fertilizers to boost rubber production,” he said.

The association further called for regular training and workshops for rubber producers and young students.

He also urged the government to provide subsidies and encourage soft loans at single digit interest rates for rubber producers;

“There is an urgent need for the government to work with the organized private sector to consider aggressive programs for the development of the rubber sector.

“This is due to the potential it has to contribute to the Nigerian economy and to the federal government’s diversification efforts for the sustainable development of the country.

“The government should also strengthen the research institute sector, to enable them to develop technologies to improve the rubber sector.

“The government should expand and improve extension services to help farmers in the rubber sector,” the statement said.

The association requested the intervention of the federal government by providing 100,000 hectares of land in each state for rubber production.

The statement said that participants commended the association for creating a platform for stakeholders to engage with each other in discussions related to the development of the rubber sub-sector.

The conference was organized by the association in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Other contributors to the October 21-22 conference were the Raw Materials Research and Development Council and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.

The press release is signed respectively by the president and the secretary of the association, Mr. Igbinosun Idowu-Peter and Mr. Orimisan Ogunjumelo.

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