The chief executive officer of Fabrar Rice Processing Industry Facility, Fabio Lavelanet, has disclosed that within three months rice produced from the facility will be available for sale at an affordable price in the Liberian market.
In an interview with the Daily Observer over the weekend, Fabrar CEO said taking his company’s products (rice) to the market is to promote Liberian made food as part of efforts to boost local agriculture.
According to Mr. Lavelanet, 25kg bag of Fabrar rice will be sold for US$25, adding that the price will later drop to a minimum amount, because it is now time that Liberians eat their own locally produced food.
The rice, he said, when taking to the market, will eventually serve as a conduit to create job opportunities and then ease the burden importers of the commodity face to get them on the market.
On the contrary, Mr. Lavelanet said among other things that there are no plans to have a rice farm in the country, “Because, we are involved into finishing rice product, which the farmers will bring to the facility for processing.”
“The farmers depend on us, they bring the seed rice, and we buy the rice for processing, if we have our own farm, it will be a serious problem for our farmers, because they will not have any other means to sell their rice and in the end, their rice will spoil due to lack of customers,”Fabrar CEO said.
Mr. Lavelanet said, the industry will continue working with farmers to promote their businesses as a means of empowering them to do more to ensure that the country has its own food.
According to him, since the installation of his facility, farmers from four of the 15 counties have started supplying seed rice. Those counties are Lofa (main distributor) Bong, Nimba and Margibi.
He said, following the official inauguration of the industry, more Liberians have become grateful to buy the locally grown rice, “and it is because of this reason, Fabrar rice will eventually flourish on the local market in about three months.”
He mentioned Lofa, Bong, Nimba and Margibi counties as the best producers of seed rice across the country.
The Fabrar boss mentioned transportation, bad road condition, prices of seeds rice amongst others as major challenges the industry is facing.
The industry has so far distributed some rice, but it was done through the World Food Program (WFP) which normally purchases for local consumption and distributes same to other “vulnerable communities as well as persons of concern.”
For that transaction, he praised WFP and some other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for the level of support, including bulk purchasing from the industry that he described as a great step to increasing the mainstream marketing in the country.
He disclosed plans to have a rice storage facility that will supply customers in other counties.
“Fabrar will continue to work with local farmers by empowering them and we look forward to having our citizens getting the rice on the market soon,” Fabio assured.
Fabrar Liberia Inc., the agriculture entity which operates the facility, is a fully Liberian-owned, created in 2009, to tackle food insecurity in Liberia by improving the livelihood of farmers and providing them with increased access to domestic and international food markets.