Gov’t Planning US$1.7m Stimulus Package For Rubber Sector

KAKATA, April 23 (LINA) – The Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture says the rubber sector of Liberia is “very vital” to the growth of the national economy.

Representative Prince Tokpah said as a result of the important role played by the rubber sector in the agro-industry of Liberia, the House introduced a stimulus package for the improvement of the rubber sector in the sum of US$1.7 million so as resuscitate it and thereby help improve the lot of small farm holders.

Rep. Tokpah made the statement recently in Cooper Farm, Todee District, Montserrado County at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of an office complex for the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia (RPAL).

Tokpah said upon assuming the chairmanship on the House Committee on Agriculture, he saw the compelling need to help revive the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia which was going from bad to worse at the time by vouching for a stimulus package.

“When I took over (as House Chair on Agriculture), there were many rubber farms closing and demonstrations going on in the rubber sector because of low production and low salaries, among others, but with the call for stimulus package, it will stabilize the sector so as to avert their closure and more unemployment,” Representative Tokpah stated.

“Good enough for me, upon the election of Madam as President of the RPAL, coupled with her innovativeness, an office complex is now being built to house the body, thereby relieving it from the many years of rent and/or lease payment for office space,” Tokpah added.

Speaking earlier, RPAL President Wilhelmina G. Mulbah-Siaway said she was very delighted to see the association having an office complex of its own under construction.

She said since the establishment of the Association in 1966, it has never had an office complex of its own and as such this was very much a milestone in the history of the group.

She also said Liberia has been in the production of natural rubber since 1910, and La Cote d’Ivoire joined in 1957 followed by other countries in Asia but yet RPAL continues to lag far behind these counties that just started, expressing optimism that it was never too late to make progress.

Madam Siaway said most of the rubber clones being planted in Liberia are outdated and no longer exists as countries in Asia and other natural rubber producing countries are now producing higher yield rubber on fewer acres of land as compared to Liberia.

She also revealed that Liberia has now become a certified member of the International Research Development Board (IRDB) from which it stands to gain lots of benefits.

The office complex will include four offices, a conference hall with a capacity of 150 persons, canteen, and bathrooms, among others.

The cost of the multipurpose office complex is put at over US$70,000.

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