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Providing employment for a large section of the population, agriculture remains a major source of economic activity in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, agriculture has remained the largest sector of the economy.  It generates employment for about 70% of Nigeria’s population and contributes about 40% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with crops accounting for 80%, livestock 13%, forestry 3% and fishery 4%.

Before now, Nigeria was known for the export of the three major cash crops; palm oil, groundnuts and rubber; but presently, little or nothing is heard about these sources of foreign exchange. The country’s sole dependence on crude oil has dominated the economy and rendered it unproductive. Oil has become the major export Nigeria is recognized for in the world economy.

Figures obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics indicates that Nigeria earned Nigeria earned about N305.1billion within the first three months of 2013 and N158.38 billion from Natural rubber.

Nigeria has a comparative trade advantage on rubber production and exportation besides crude oil. Nigeria exports about 60,000 tons of natural rubber annually.

The production of natural rubber in Nigeria which began in 1894 with the exploitation of indigenous wild rubber of Funtumia elastica was found to be the best source of plant because of its singular ability to renew its bark and thus ensure sustained harvest. It was introduced into Nigeria from Kew Gardens, England around 1895 with the first rubber estate planted at Sapele in 1903 and a second one at Nkisi in the then Eastern region in 1912. By 1925, some 1000 hectares of European owned estates existed in the South – western Nigeria.

Rubber is grown in Edo, Delta, Ondo, Ogun, Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers, Ebonyi and Bayelsa States where the amount of rainfall is about 1800 mm to 2000 mm per annum. Natural rubber performs three main functions in our national economy; these are the provision of raw materials for the agro-based industries, it provides foreign exchange earnings and places Nigeria in the world map as a net exporter of rubber and lastly, it offers employment to a sizeable segment of the Nigerian farming rural.

Demand for rubber started to pick up after the global economy recovered from financial crises in late 2008 and early 2009. Positive moves in the tyre production industry which captures 68% of the total demand for natural rubber helped to boost the requirement further. Recovery in global automobile sales also helped in the recovery of rubber prices. While the requirement of natural rubber continued to increase, its production and supply did not increase at the same pace because of plantations are either too old or immature to start yielding.

The gap between the demand and supply of natural rubber increased further in 2009 when Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, the three largest producers of natural rubber cut down the production by 4.3% of their volume to stabilize global rubber price. Rapid growth in the automobile sectors of China and India also increased the demand for natural rubber in 2011, while the supply remained low.

According to the International Rubber Study group, the global demand for natural rubber may reach 12.4 million tons by 2015 and 14.2 million tons by 2020, while the production of natural rubber can reach only 13.6 million tons/ year in 2020. Demand for natural rubber for automobile industry in China and India is also expected to increase further.

This gap in supply is an opportunity for interested investors to go into the production and or export of the commodity.

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Our reports are designed to assist start-ups to understand the legal and financial requirements of starting the business, the market trends vis-a-vis demand and supply, competition, risk identification and mitigation strategies.

You can order our detailed feasibility report on the export of natural rubber in Nigeria by clicking on the link below.


Report Code: FORA/2013/3074841/FMR/3562567

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