Liberia: GoL Faces Backlash Over Ban On Unprocessed Rubber Export

72

Representatives of the Consortium of Rubber Sector Actors of Liberia (CORSAL) and various progressive forces have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Liberian government’s ban on the exportation of unprocessed rubber. The ban, enforced by Executive Order #124 issued in December 2023, has left the rubber sector in disarray, causing significant financial losses and threatening the livelihoods of many Liberians.
Speaking at a press conference held in Monrovia, Laffia Kaba, Head of Secretariat for CORSAL, criticized the government’s decision, stating that it was made without adequate consultation with stakeholders in the rubber sector.
“We are deeply concerned about the impact of Executive Order #124 on our members and the Liberian economy as a whole,” said Kaba. “The sudden ban on the exportation of unprocessed rubber has left us with 94 containers of rubber stranded at the Free Port of Monrovia since December 2023. We have already incurred storage fees of US$57,000, with additional costs accruing daily.”
Kaba emphasized that the ban has severely affected the business operations of rubber farmers, brokers, truckers, exporters, and forwarding agents, pushing many into financial distress. He highlighted the detrimental effects on their ability to repay bank loans and maintain their properties.
Furthermore, CORSAL representatives expressed their frustration with the government’s disregard for the interests of Liberian rubber sector actors, accusing officials of prioritizing the interests of foreign investors over those of local farmers and businesses.
“We, as Liberians, have invested our time, resources, and labor into our farms and businesses,” stated Kaba. “We deserve the right to freely choose who we sell our rubber to. The government cannot deny us this fundamental right.”
CORSAL also raised concerns about Section 9 of Executive Order #124, which prohibits broker activities related to the purchase, sale, or trade of unprocessed rubber, effectively disrupting the value chain in the rubber sector.
“This provision is heartless and completely disregards the livelihoods of thousands of Liberians dependent on the rubber industry,” said Kaba. “It violates the Liberian Constitution, which guarantees opportunities for employment and livelihood under just and humane conditions.”
In response to the ban, CORSAL revealed plans to construct a 2.5-ton Commercial Rubber Processing Plant in Bong County within 24 months. The plant aims to process rubber into higher-value products, such as TSR 20 or 10, providing a sustainable solution for the sector.
“We are committed to promoting economic freedom and empowering Liberian rubber farmers,” said Kaba. “Our project aims to create millionaires from the rubber sector and reduce our dependence on foreign-owned factories.”

Comments are closed.