Opportunities for crop diversification for durable and sustained income; creation of wealth through development of down-stream industries and recommendations for new orientations and policies for development of natural rubber. These were some of the issues that pre-occupied 200 natural rubber experts at the two-day International Rubber Forum on African Rubber Development and the 40th Assembly of the International Rubber Study Group organized in Limbe last week. The workshop brought together prominent rubber industrialists and dealers from, Thailand, Kuola Lumpur and the U.K.
One, if not the major conclusions arrived at by participants was the advise to small rubber producing countries to get together in order to sustain themselves. Major consumers of rubber, they noted, are tyre manufacturers who are a little bit too far from rubber producing countries. This makes it difficult for many of such countries to afford tyres safe enough to be mounted on their cars. Since it is difficult for smaller countries to put up plants for tyres they are simply asking that bigger countries consider the fact that the raw material comes from them and give out the products at affordable prices.
To the General Manager of the Cameroon Development Corporation, Henry Njala Quan, it will be quite beneficial for smaller countries to group themselves into regions. He particularly expressed the wish that countries of CEMAC sub-region zone set up a tyre producing factory. He announced that CDC wants to ameliorate the system of production among small scale producers. This would be done through the modernisation of the system of collection and making it more efficient. “We also want to ameliorate the technical assistance we give to village producers”, he said. Mr Njala Quan advised village producers diversify production on which to survive while waiting that plantations produce.
Sitting in for the Prime Minister was the Minister of State for Industrial and Commercial Development, Maigari Bello Bouba. Also present was the Minister of State for Agriculture, Augustin-Fréderic Kodock.
Source: Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé) vom 2004-04-05.