By: Patrick Tokpah
The William Richard Tolbert Jr. Rubber Plantation in Zota District, Bong County, has been reopened to the people of the County with a call on Liberians to see the agriculture sector as the surest way to take Liberia out of extreme poverty.
Plantation’s General Manager, Mackie Lawrence, said the effort is to support the Country’s Pro-Poor Agenda through capacity building and contribution to under privileged Liberians, including women and youth.
Addressing a reporters at opening ceremony of the farm recently, the Rubber Plantation General Manager further said the reopened farm will recruit about 200 tappers at the Rubbers plantation, about 50 worker at the Coffee farm, eight security men, 15 and administrative staffs, amongst others.
He further revealed that all those workers expected to be recruited will stay at the compound of the farm where he said there is a modern free health facility and school in the area for them; he also said they will be paid adequately for whatever work they will be doing.
Speaking about the need to revamp the agricultural sector, Lawrence said Liberia has a fertile soil, and that it is about time that Liberians make maximum use of its soil in order to rescue the people from eject poverty and hunger.
Mr. Lawrence added, “We need to promote this country and be like other countries in the world.” He implored the people of Bong County that the reopening of the William R. Tolbert, Jr. Rubber Plantation is a golden opportunity for all in the Central Region of Liberia, saying that the farm is open to the general public to come and work, to make money on their own.
Lawrence told journalists that currently, the country is heavily relying on food importation, mainly rice, to feed its people, something the William Richard Tolbert Jr. Rubber Plantation boss believes should be of the past. He wants Liberian farmers to go back to the soil to grow what they eat, and eat what they grow.
In a drive to help revamp the agricultural sector, Mr. Lawrence and his teams has put in place some short and long term measures to improve the sector for the betterment of the society and its people.
Lawrence said, “Currently, they are focused on production of rubbers, oil palm and coffee; the farm, he explained, is being run privately by him and his team with some partnership from Mr. Jackson George, a permanent businessman of Margibi County.”
Mr. Lawrence wants all Liberians to muster the courage and work collectively with the ruling government in a move to help develop the country. He further said that there is a need for Liberians to see the agriculture sector as the fastest engine to take Liberia to another level.
He encouraged all relevant partners to help provide the necessary supports to the sector in the best interest of the country. The Liberian agriculture sector has been challenged over the period with the lack of adequate support, capacity building as well as insufficient manpower development and many others.
“In closing, I just want to say to the people of Liberia that we all are trying to buttress the effort of government through the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development PAPD in order to see our country move forward.
For his part, the Production Manager of the farm, Armstrong Matthews, described agriculture as the lifeblood of every economy. As such it should be given more support and capacity building initiatives for the equipment of farmers across the country with more skills in the sector so that their lives will be better.