The Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria (RRIN) in collaboration with the Federal ministry Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) implemented a training programme / capacity building workshop on Good Agricultural Practices for Smallholder farmers, Youth and Women in Nigeria from the 28th – 30th November, 2022. This workshop was done to increased more consciousness of farmers on improving Rubber farmers’ lives and livelihoods through changes in knowledge and skills transfer and adoption of innovations for increased productivity and improved livelihoods.

The Director RRIN Dr. Lelia N. Dongo welcomed all to the Capacity Building training organized by RRIN in collaboration with FMARD. She reiterated that RRIN has the mandate to conduct research and promote Value Chain enhancement activities in the cultivation, production and utilization of Natural Rubber, Gum Arabic and other latex producing crops. She stated that Rubber was important in the socio-economic life of many developing and developed countries. That it was one of the major leading foreign exchange earners in Nigeria before the advent of the oil boom in the early 1970’s of which agriculture as a whole contributed over 60% to the GDP earnings of Nigeria. She further started that the much desired diversification of the Nigerian economy from overdependence on oil and gas could only be driven by the pragmatic contribution of agricultural products towards technology development and industrialization.

The Director Tree Crops Mr Ukattah B.C expressed his appreciation to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for his administrations’ focus on diversifying the Nigerian economy away from crude oil towards agriculture and solid minerals. He also appreciation towards the Honourable Minster of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Mahmmod Abubakar for his drive in  further promoting the Agricultural Policy of the “Green Alternative” which had culminated in the organizing of the training workshop for smallholder Rubber farmers, processors, marketers and other stakeholders. He stated that that Rubber was now grown in 24 States of the Federation as against formally 14 traditional producing States, and that it was the 5th major export crop after Cocoa, Cashew, Rice and Oil Palm. He emphasized his enthusiasm that the training workshop will be equip the participants with the proper principles of Good-Rubber Tapping Techniques (GTT), Field hygiene and Sheet production which will create strength along and within the rubber supply chain and ultimately improve both their livelihood and the national GDP. He then reiterated that the Federal Government of Nigeria will focus on the continuation of the massive provision and distribution of farm inputs which includes improved rubber budded stumps, fertilizers, agrochemicals, tapping knives, collecting cup hangers etc. which will be continued to be sold to rubber farmers at subsidized rate as well as the earmarking on capacity building for farmers and extension support from Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

A total of 50 Rubber farmers Comprising of Rubber Smallholders, Youths and Women who were in attendance then then visited the field for practical emphasis on good tapping techniques.

At the end of the workshop, the farmers were able to learn new and modern practices of tapping and sheet production. They were all grateful to the Ministry for the opportunity availed to them and promised to leverage on the new techniques thought them in other to ensure maximum output in all the production activities.