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The producers of rubbers in Ogun state have appealed to the state governor, Dapo Abiodun to assist in giving more land to them for rubber plantations in the state.
The rubber producers lamented that there is no enough land for plantation of rubber in Ogun state.
Speaking on behalf of the producers, the state chairman of National Rubber Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Oladele MacDaniel said they are hoping the government will give them 20,000 hectares of land for plantation.
MacDaniel who spoke with PLATFORM TIMES after the inauguration of executives for the Obafemi Owode and Ifo Local Government areas of Ogun state said the land would provide employment opportunities for many youth in the state.
He said, “we don’t have problem in processing or exporting. The challenge we have is land.
“We need land to plant rubber; rubber will create employment.
“Osun state has given the association 20,000 hectares of land and they will be paying rent annually. Ondo state has done likewise, they have given 10,000 hectares to NAPPMAN and we are hopefully believing that Ogun state will do the same.
“We have not met with the governor, but we believe that by the time we meet with him, we will get land up to 20,000 hectares which we will distribute to our members to plan.
“We are hopefully believing that government that is now shifting from reliance on oil to agricultural products will give us enough assistance to be able to plant.
“We need plenty of land and plenty of assistance; land is just our major challenge.”
The NAPPMAN however appealed to the both federal and state government to prioritise the rubber plantations in the country above other agricultural commodities.
The NARPPMAN chairman insisted that rubber is the most profitable out of all export commodities produced by the country.
He explained that plantation of rubber can be done at any times of the year unlike some other export commodities like cocoa, cotton, cashew that are seasonal.
He noted that rubber can assist the country in recovering from the economic challenges facing the nation.
He added that the government should make rubber a major export commodity so as to get more Internally Generated Revenue for the country.
According to him, in time past, rubber was the major foreign exchange earner outside oil for the country because rubbers are majorly an export commodity.
He further said, “Cocoa too is an export commodity, but cocoa is seasonal. Rubber is not seasonal, you tap rubber everyday from January 1st to December 31st. Rubber is a daily thing and you process it everyday.
“No individual can finish rubber plantation. The quality is always the same irrespective of the year you have tapped it.
“We are calling on the federal government to actually give priorities to rubber. Out of all the agricultural commodities, there is none that can be compared to rubber. Rubber should be given priorities ahead of every other ones. Cotton is seasonal, Oil palm is seasonal, Cashew is seasonal.
“In rubber plantation of about 10,000 hectares, we will making to 400 tonnes every week. And that is a huge money that would assist the economy.”