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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Liberian Rubber Sector Actors Applaud President For Easing Export Ban

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The Consortium of Rubber Sector Actors of Liberia (CORSAL) has paid tribute to President Joseph Boakai for his initial lifting the ban on the exportation of unprocessed rubber, which has positively impacted stallholder farmers across the country.

The advocacy group representing rubber farmers, traders and brokers wants the ban permanently lifted to  open the industry for free market competition that will boost the national economy.

Since the ban was lifted on May 23, 2024, the rubber sector has seen several positive changes, including a 10% increase in the price of unprocessed rubber, the removal of unfavorable buying practices by concessionaires, and the provision of farm supplies at reasonable prices, it said.

CORSAL also stated that it is putting in place structures and regulations to ensure that the rubber trade is conducted by authorized persons and entities, enabling the government to generate the required taxes from the export of unprocessed rubber.

However, the group acknowledged that the sector still faces challenges, as it will take at least 12 months for the actors to recover from the losses incurred during the ban.

“We have the confidence that even in the face of all the above-mentioned challenges, we as Liberians are determined to remain engaged in the rubber trade as we make all efforts to construct and operate the first Commercial Natural Rubber Processing Plant,” the group said.

In November 2023, then-President George M. Weah issued Executive Order #124, which banned the export of unprocessed rubber, causing significant hardship for rubber farmers and other actors in the sector. However, the current President recognized the need to lift the ban and provide relief to the affected Liberians.

“CORSAL sees the action of the President as a nationalistic decision aimed at empowering local Liberians to be involved in economic activities that contribute to the overall growth and development of our nation,” the group said in a statement.

The group also expressed appreciation to the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Jonathan F. Kofa, and various senators, including Albert Chie, Jonny Kpehe, Gberzorhgar M. Findley, Joseph Jallah, and Nyan D. Tuayen, Jr., for their efforts in protecting the interests of the smallholder rubber farmers and other actors in the sector.

 

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