As drop in the price of rubber continues to raise concern among farmers across Liberia, the head of the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa, Rev. Dr. Tolbert Thomas Jallah Jr. has asserted that rubber is not the solution to Liberia’s food crisis.
Speaking at a program at the Township of Geepoe recently, he was quoted by Radio Kehgheaman (in Nimba County) on April 24 that rubber planting makes labourers out of Liberians.
He explained that Liberia has a large fertile land, but instead of Liberians being encouraged to plant crops that are more needed, “we are encouraged to plant rubber or palm which are shipped to other countries.”
Rev. Dr Jallah, who came to Nimba upon the invitation of Rep. Larry P. Younquio, told local church leaders to grow what they can eat and eat what they grow.
“Why are you planting trees that benefit other people when you are still importing rice and buying frozen imported meat?” he asked them.
Rev. Jallah urged local church leaders to engage in food production to be able to feed their congregations instead of collecting offerings or tithes and allowing them to go hungry.
He said Jesus whose footprint they are following fed over 5000 followers with the little he had, and observed that no church leader has ever provided food for their congregations after his regular discourse.
He noted that nearly everything imported to Liberia, including meat, fish, rice and vegetables can be produced in Liberia. “It only needs our total involvement like how we have been involved in planting rubber trees,” Rev. Jallah said.
Nimba County remains one of the chief rubber producers in the country where most farm lands are covered with rubber trees.