The national vice chairman of Natural Rubber Producers, Processors and Marketing Association of Nigeria, NARPPMAN, Mr Usen Umoh, has called on Nigerians, particularly rubber farmers to intensify efforts at replanting their aging plantations as the sub-sector will determine the country’s economic direction in the near future.
In an interview with DAILY POST in Calabar, Umoh said oil may no longer be the mainstay of the country’s economy as indices have confirmed that natural rubber has returned to its prime status.
He encouraged more farmers to regenerate or plant new rubber farms, disclosing that they can further make substantial revenues from carbon emitted from rubber plantations.
He said rubber provides the cleanest carbon dioxide.
He disclosed that international organisations pay staggering foreign exchange for rubber trees’ carbon emissions.
“The more people are aware of carbon credits marketing from rubber, the better for them and the environment.
“There are vast opportunities for carbon marketing. Nigeria should invest in carbon credits, reduce over-reliance on oil, and encourage rubber planting as the future of the country’s economy shall depend on rubber as it was in the early days.
“Abroad, more rubber farmers make vast incomes from carbon credits since the gestational period of rubber plantations takes some years,” Umoh said.
He expressed happiness that a handful of rubber farmers in the country have discovered this and are raking in multiple millions in foreign exchange.
The rubber expert also advised rubber farmers to make even more money by doing what he called intercropping.
“Inter cropping means that farmers can plant other crops or vegetables in between spaces provided by rubber trees which also provide umbrella covers for such low-lying crops. So farmers can still make more money whilst waiting for rubber.
“Inter cropping can provide alternative source of income whilst waiting for rubber gestational period,” he added.
He appealed to financial institutions not to neglect them due to the long gestation period of rubber.