THE REASONS FOR LOW PRODUCTION OF RUBBER
This research study was undertaken with a view to assessing the veracity of low production of rubber in Owan West LGA, Edo State. Several factors were identified as causes of this trend; such as lack of capital, use of old plantations, unavailability of land, price of latex etc. a questionnaires approach was used to obtain data from the farmers in Owan West LGA of Edo State. This was subjected to analysis based on stipulated hypothesis drawn from the questionnaires. The result of this analysis showed that lack of capital was not responsible for low production of rubber in Owan West LGA. Also, market prices of rubber products had no effect on low rubber production. However, government policies were identified as a cause of low production of rubber in Owan West LGA. Therefore, the government should promulgate policies that will encourage rubber production in Owan West LGA and Nigeria.
Rubber plant (Hevea Brasiliensis) was introduced from Brazil to Nigeria around 1895. It is a variety of plant of the genus Hevea (euphorbiaceae) family, native to Brazil. It commonly known as the rubber tree rubber is an important cash crop which contributed sustainably to the Nigerian economy prior to the oil boom. (Aghimien, 1997). In recent years, there has been a drastic reduction in rubber production in Nigeria. A total of 207,500 which represented 86.0% of the country’s land area under rubber cultivation on small holdings in 1966, declined to 147,200 hectares in 1980. Recent field surveys showed that more than two thousand of the small holding has been lost to other crop. Presently, rubber production in Nigeria has decreased and the rubber industries have continued to fold-up (Agra, 1986).
1.2 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Natural rubber performed three main functions in the Nigerian economy; firstly it provided some of the foreign exchange and placed Nigeria in the world map as an exporter of rubber products. Lastly it provided employment for a sizeable segment of the rural populace. The situation in Nigeria presently pretends a drift from beings a major exporter of rubber products into becoming a net importer in the nearest future. The important question or issue is what are the reasons for the observed down turn or reduction in productivity of rubber, especially I Owan West LGA of Edo State.
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY
This research was undertaken for the following reasons.
a. To confirm the acclaimed decline in rubber production in Owan-West LGA.
b. To ascertain the level of decline in rubber production in Owan West LGA.
c. To determine the causes of decline in rubber production solution to the problems resulting in these decline.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Considering the aforementioned purpose of this research, the following research questions are proposed as a guide in this study.
a. What are the major reasons for decline in rubber production in Owan West LGA?
b. How much of rubber plantations have been substituted with food crops or other cash crops?
c. What is the level of market forces impact on rubber production?
d. Are farmers still interested in cultivating rubber in Owan West LGA?
e. How willing are farmers to rehabilitate their rubber plantation?
f. What steps could be taken by farmers to facilitate rubber production?
g. What role could the government and non-government agencies play in encouraging rubber production?
This study was considered on the basis of the following assumptions;
Ho: Capital has no effect on the low production of rubber in Owan West LGA.
H1: capital has effect on the low production of rubber in Owan-West LGA.
Ho: Government policies has effect on the productivity of rubber in Owan West LGA.
H1: Government policies has no effect o the productivity of rubber in Owan West LGA.
Ho: Poor market prices of rubber products has no effect on the production of rubber in Owan West LGA.
H1: Poor market prices of rubber products ahs effect on the production of rubber in Owan West LGA.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research which is basically investigating will help to achieve the following:
a. Give details of factors responsible for low production of rubber in Owan West LGA.
b. It will reveal the perception of farmers on the decline of rubber production.
c. It will help proffer solutions to these factors.
d. It will be a working tool for both government and non-governmental agencies on how to tackle the decline in rubber production.
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