Rubber Can Generate N200 billion Annually for Cross River- NARPMAN Boss, Umo Inameti
The Chairman of Natural Rubber Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, (NARPMAN), in Cross River State, Mr Umo Inameti, has projected that natural rubber has the potential to generate N200 billion annually for the state if the government can pay attention to its cultivation.
The NARPMAN boss made the disclosure while addressing the Commissioner for Crops and Irrigation Development in the state, Hon. Johnson Ebokpo in Calabar.
According to him, “If we are able to do 50,000 hectares in the next few years, we will drastically reduce rural-urban migration and we will be making about N200 billion direct income to our primary industries annually, not to talk of the by-products.”
Inameti lamented that Nigeria has abandoned more sustainable resources since the oil boom, this according to him has led to neglect of in Cross River State. He noted that natural rubber used to mainstay of the state’s economy years back.
“Cross River depended heavily on rubber but presently, the state does not have up to 10,000 hectares of prime producing rubber due to the impact of the oil boom,” he said.
He therefore, appealed that rubber should be added in the state’s 2024 budget, saying that government should come out with a policy document to develop the commodity by making available, at least 100,000 hectares of land for rubber cultivation.
On his own part, the National Vice President South-South of NARPMAN, Mr Usen Umoh, called on the Cross River State to invest in natural rubber assuring that the state will reap bountifully in a few years to come.
He called on the commissioner to keep the promise of the state government to establish 50,000 hectares each for rubber, cocoa and oil palm, adding that if that was done, Cross River would be on its way to economic growth.
Mr Fidelis Obi, Managing Director Pamol Nigeria Limited, added that the rubber estates established by colonialists had all been destroyed.
Responding, the commissioner, Ebokpo, said the state government has a strong desire to boost the local processing of natural rubber.
He disclosed that Governor Bassey Otu had directed that agricultural commodities such as oil palm, cocoa, rice, cassava and natural rubber be effectively developed and processed in the state.
The Commissioner said, “It is my desire that processing takes place here, so, one of the things I intend to do is to visit Royal Farms in Biakpan community where rubber is being processed for export and officially inaugurate it.
“We will meet all the players in the rubber value chain, so that we will have a policy document that gives clarity to the entire value chain.
“This administration is very serious with agriculture because we don’t have a choice; it is the evacuation of some of our produce that will make our seaport work and boost our economy.”