rubber is the most essential raw material for rubber products and tyre
manufacturers in the world because it has no alternative material. It is one of
the green oil businesses in Agriculture that is not fully tapped into by
entrepreneurs except for few foreign investors yet it has been existing
for a long time.
Natural rubber is harvested as latex from
matured rubber tree (Hevea brasillensis). Latex is the white liquid substance collected from
rubber tree after tapping while the field coagula are the spilled fresh latex
tree, earth or cup left to coagulate. Latex can be harvested every
week for about 25 years. The tree scrap, earth scrap, tree lace
and cup lump together make the field coagula, which constitutes around 20% of
the harvest. The remaining 80% is fresh latex. A matured rubber tree from 6th
year can produce about 1500kg/ha/yr of fresh latex. The rubber is collected from the latex in a series of
steps involving preservation, concentration, coagulation, de-watering, drying, cleaning,
and blending. Because of its natural derivation, it is sold in a variety
of grades based on purity (color and presence of extraneous matter),
viscosity, viscosity stability, oxidation resistance, and rate of cure.
It is no doubt a highly demanded, lucrative
agribusiness in the international market that allows enterprise combination and has expanded value chain.
Areas an entrepreneur/investor can look into include; Rubber nursery (Budded
rubber stump/seedlings production), Rubber plantation (Latex/field Coagulum
production) and Rubber processing into grades such as(Concentrated latex, Technically Specified
Rubber (TSR), Ribbed Smoked Sheet (RSS), Air Dried
Sheet (ADS), Estate Brown Crepe (EBC) and other low grade crepes made from
Over the years, the importance of rubber to modern life has
constantly increased due to the fact that it has high deformability, flexibility,
return to its original shape when stressed, high tensile strength and
durability. It has been employed in tyre industries, pharmaceuticals/medical
material or equipment and consumer goods such as Chewing gum, Condoms,
Balloons, connective hoses, Footwears, Gloves, Foam mattresses, elastic thread,
adhesives, rubber band, etc.
According to QY Research report (2015), Global natural rubber
consumption has grown at 4.1% per annum between 2010 and 2015, driven primarily
by China and India. As the global economy rebounded from the recession-linked
lows of 2009, the global consumption of natural rubber has risen by 11% in 2010.
Having rubber plantation is the best way to start and tap from
this goldmine. Rubber plantation has been established in rubber growing
countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, China, Sri
Lanka, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Ghana, Gabon, Cameroun, Guinea, Liberia, etc.
Successful rubber plantation establishment depends on; planting material/variety; spacing and orientation; intercropping; yield stimulation,
tapping system and preservation method.
In Nigeria, rubber can grow in Edo,
Delta, Ondo, Ogun, Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers, Ebonyi, and
CBN (2013) reported that, rubber
production growth increased from 5.9% in 2012 to 7.9% in 2013. Further analysis
revealed that in the agricultural produce category, rubber constituted 4.7% of
the total non-oil export. Average price of rubber (100% dry lump top quality)
rose from N142,810.2/ton in 2009 to N148,839.3/ton in 2012.
Since the beginning of 2015, the price of rubber has been around 1.4 $/kg. Imagine what you can make from 10 hectares of land or more
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