LIBERIA: Government to rescue rubber sector

The government through the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has put together a credit stimulus package in the amount of USD 5 million and L$ 129,750,000 to facilitate the resuscitation of the Liberian rubber sector.

Making the disclosure to representatives of the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia (RPAL), CBL governor Dr. J. Mills Jones on 27 June  2014 said the action was predicated upon the dire straits created by the fall in the price of rubber, which is having a toll on rubber planters and workers in the industry.

"Recently the rubber sector, which is a very important part of the Liberian economy contributed significantly to the employment and growth has experienced a sharp drop in income due mainly to the fall in the price of rubber," said Dr. Jones.

Continued the CBL Governor: "This has posed a serious challenge to the Liberian rubber farmers in maintaining their operations. In view of the serious implications on the economy, from the fall in the price of rubber, the government of Liberia saw it fit to timely assist the affected rubber farmers. Accordingly, the government through the Central Bank of Liberia, is arranging and I believe we've almost concluded the facility for the commercial banks in the amount of USD 5 million as a credit stimulus for on-lending to active farmers who are members of the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia (RPAL)."

Stressing the importance of resuscitating the rubber industry at such a time when the industry is seriously needy, Dr. Jones said the government has a responsibility to keep key contributors to the Liberian economy in a stable condition that will ensure sustained growth, which will have a positive impact on the citizenry.

"Let me state that these programs are necessary to ensure that the private sector is given the needed support through the banking industry to keep the economy of Liberia on a path of sustainable growth as well as protect the large number of our citizens from losing their jobs."

"Additionally, the CBL has made a placement with the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment, in the amount of L$ 129,750,000 to facilitate further lending to the Rubber Planters Asociation of Liberia."

Source: "Front Page Africa Online", Monrovia; 30 June 2014
(Syed Rshid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)