he Federal Government is committed to revamping the Rubber Industry for economic growth of the country.
Dr Ernest Umakhihe the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development made this known on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that the federal government was also committed towards diversifying the economy of the nation from oil to agriculture, with focus on arable and cash crops for economic growth and development.
The ministry over the years prioritised and promoted the development of the Rubber Value Chain with the distribution of improved budded rubber stumps plating materials.
“We have also provided growth enhancers to farmers to raise plantations and the facilitation of training on nursery development as well as Tapping Techniques,” he said
Umakhihe said that part of the Initiative was the Identification and Management of White Rot Rubber Diseases under the Rehabilitation and Management and Replanting of existing rubbers farms across rubber producing States nationwide.
He said the ministry in collaboration with the Lohashilpi Sheeting Processing Technology, established the Rubber Resource Centre (RRRC), in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State.
Umakhihe urged the organisation to ensure full implementation of the plan by engaging the relevant stakeholders towards actualizing the dream for mass rubber production.
The permanent secretary pledged the ministry’s readiness to support the initiative by creating an enabling environment for the business to thrive.
In his remarks,Prof.Joseph Adelegan, the Executive Secretary (IRSG)said that the mandate of the group was to revive the Rubber Sub-Sector which was on the decline and also stimulate investment in the sector.
He said some of the challenges militating against product of the commodity were the low productivity of the existing rubber plantations due to old age, poor Agronomic practices and continued use of low yielding seedlings among others.
The Director of Tree Crops Division in the ministry, Mr Bernard Ukattah, appealed to the agency and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the implementation of the programme.
The programme, he said, was geared towards improving the Rubber sub sector to achieve and economic growth and development.(NAN)