Apemanim (W/R), April.14, GNA - The Rubber Out Growers and Agents Association (ROAA), realised a net income of 259,270 Ghana Cedis in 2011, Mr. Kwame Awuah Asante, National Chairman of ROAA, announced on Saturday.
He said the Gross Income for the period was 501,781 Ghana Cedis and the total expenses were 242,511 Ghana Cedis.
Mr Awuah, who was speaking at the 9th Annual General Meeting of the Association at Apemanim, in the Ahanta West District, said fidelity bonus earned by members amounted to 1,076,591 Ghana Cedis in 2011 as against 564,822 Ghana Cedis in 2010.
She said rubber produced by the association increased from 3,500 metric tonnes in 2010 to 6,242 metric tonnes in 2011.
Mr. Awuah said membership of the group increased from 4,012 in 2010 to 5,549 in 2011, and out of the increased number, 965 engaged in active rubber production and the remaining had farms at different levels of development.
Mr. Awuah said 222 hectares of rubber trees belonging to 113 members of the association were affected by the corynespora disease this year.
He said affected trees were unable to produce latex that coagulates into cuplumps, sold by farmers.
Mr. Awuah said the Ghana Rubber Estate Limited and the Agriculture Development Bank (ADB) were collaborating to bring the situation under control.
He said under the plan, farmers would bear the cost of felling the affected trees, and prepare the land for re-planting while the GREL would provide them with planting materials.
Mr. Awuah said the ROAA would supply fertilizer during the first three years of planting and the ADB would write off a proportionate amount of loans of the affected farmers.
He said last year the association cultivated 20 acres of rubber at Akyim near Tarkwa and 20 acres of the tree has been cultivated this year.
Mr. Awuah said land has been acquired at Ajumako in the Central Region for the establishment of a nursery to cater for members in the region.
Mr. Emmanuel Asante Krobea, Director of Crop Services of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said Government would continue to support the ROAA and asked the members to intensify efforts to increase production.
He said a pilot project was underway in the Upper West, Upper East, and Northern Region to ascertain whether rubber could be grown in those areas.
Mr Krobea asked the association to form fire volunteer squads, to assist members to protect their farms against fire.
He appealed to the association to lodge part of the fidelity bonus in its Cooperative Credit Union as a housing scheme for members.