ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast’s natural rubber output will reach 2 million tonnes by 2023, the minister of agriculture said on Monday, a more than three-fold rise in production as plantations spread to new parts of the country.
Ivory Coast is Africa’s top natural rubber exporter and the seventh largest producer in the world. New plantations have proliferated as farmers switch from cocoa to rubber in search of more stable incomes.
“This trend will allow us to consolidate our position in Africa and in the world,” Agriculture Minister Mamadou Sagafowa Coulibaly said during an international rubber conference in the commercial capital Abidjan.
The country’s natural rubber association (APROMAC) increased it 2020 forecast to 750,000 tonnes in January after the previous 600,000 tonne target was met in 2017.
APROMAC President Eugene Kremien said on Monday about 165,000 farmers were planting rubber on around 600,000 hectares of land and that turnover for the sector was 495 billion CFA francs ($880 million) in 2017.
($1 = 562.8400 CFA francs)
Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Sofia Christensen and David Evans