Nimba County District #2 Representative Prince Tokpah is calling on the Liberian Government through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) to fast-track the disbursement of the US$1.7 million allocated to Rubber farmers in the country.
The Nimba County Representative made the statement recently on Marris’s Farm in Monsterrado, at the program marking the groundbreaking ceremony of the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia (RPAL) headquarters.
The lawmaker said the stimulus package, when released by the government it will help the struggling rubber farmers to greatly improve.
He vowed that under his administration as the House Chairman on Agriculture, he will lobby with his colleagues at the National Legislature in making ensure that the sector is rescued.
Representative Tokpah believes that agriculture is the bedrock of the Country economy and the rubber sector is of no exception.
“I can recall that farmers in the country have been complaining that the sector is not making money at all, but through my help and RPAL’s President, Wilhelmina G. Mulbah-Siaway, we work to ensure that the sector is liberated,” he stressed.
Representative Tokpah said based on these conditions, he wants the rubber stimulus package of US$1.7 million promised by the government made available to ensure that the sector reawakens itself.
According to him, if farmers are empowered positively, where production is booming and no mutiny is ongoing, it will also help the government in its efforts aimed at job creation.
“Although the government is putting in some money, it is not much, maintaining I want to use this occasion to call on MFDP to fast-track the payment to ensure that the farmers receive it to help improve the sector.”
The Nimba County District #2 revealed that most of the rubber farms are closed down, adding we don’t want that to happen because the farmers are the ones helping the government to reduce employment rate in this country.
“Some rubber farmers are trying to build a factory, gather machines and to do other activities, but how will they do it when the money is not there because once the factory is operational it will be of no regret for farmers to pay back government money,” Rep. Tokpah said.
The Nimba lawmaker used the occasion to call on the Minister Samuel Tweah to hurry up because time is far spent and the disbursement of the funds has taken five to seven months now, noting, we want the matter to be laid to rest.
It can be recalled, during a one-day forum on the Liberian rubber sector, organized by the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) in Monrovia last year, Minister Tweah assured the rubber planters of government’s continued support to improve the sector.
He observed that rubber planters are struggling for loans from various banks to improve their businesses and, therefore, he would approach the government to assist the sector.
Minister further revealed that authorities of LBDI, a development bank that has played a significant role in revamping the rubber sector, should make more strides to revamp the sector.