Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, May 30, 2019, the President of the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia, Inc. (RPAL), Madam Wilhemina G. Mulbah-Siaway, disclosed that the Liberian Dollars equivalent of the amount is being channeled through the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI).
The RPAL President pointed out that the support by the Liberian government will further boost the activities of rubber farmers across the country.
She noted that government’s support to the sector is consistent with its policy in developing the agriculture sector as a major engine of growth and development of the Liberian economy.
“Recognizing that the rubber sector is the pre-eminent provider of revenues for the Government, export earnings and jobs in the rural economy, the Government continues to support the sector by creating enabling policy environment and initiating STIMULUS FUNDING to keep the Liberian owned Rubber Farms and Plantations operational in these difficult times and has also reaffirmed its commitment to transitioning the sector products from sales of raw materials to value addition,” said Madam Siaway.
“We are gratified to hear H. E. Dr. George M. Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia mentioned in his May 29th, 2019 address to the nation the importance of the rubber sector to the economy and the challenges farmers face to remain in production so as to continue to impact the national economy. As the President has mentioned the importance of the rubber sector to the national economy it is hoped and anticipated that the Government will continue to work with the RPAL and all stakeholders in moving the rubber sector to an economically sustainable level,” she continued.
She mentioned that the funding will cover key three areas, namely; operational deficits owing to the continual low price of rubber; funding for newly matured rubber trees; and value addition, which is necessary to transition the Liberian owned rubber farms/plantation and processors from farmgate pricing to world market pricing, something which she said is necessary for economic growth and development.
“The RPAL projects that with this recent intervention and sustained support to this Sector, it shall be in a relatively short period, revitalized and positioned to contribute again to meaningful jobs creation, foreign exchange earnings and GOL Revenues,” she added.
In remarks, the Executive Director of RPAL, Mr. Franklin W. Philips, revealed that the loan is provided by the government at an interest rate of 8% and is payable within 48 months (four years).
Philips added that RPAL’s role is to guide the farmers in securing the loan from the Bank by ensuring that all necessary requirements are met.