Authorities at the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia (RPAL) have resolved to hold their fourth National Congress in Gbarnga City, Bong County.
The May 23, 2014 RPAL pending congress, according to the entity’s executive director, Simeon Z. Woheel, is expected to bring together rubber planters, processors, buyers and stakeholders. They will discuss issues relevant to the Liberian natural rubber industry, and to elect RPAL’s executive board members.
The congress, Mr. Woheel said, is the highest decision making body of the RPAL. It is at the congress, according to him, that new policy decisions are carved to address issues affecting the Liberian rubber industry. It is expected to bring together Liberian rubber planters and processors irrespective of size of the farm or factory from across the country.
The pending congress, which is supposed to be held every two years, had delayed for four years due to many factors including the delay in the submission of its financial audit that was allegedly marred by impropriety. “But with the completion of an audit into the financial account of the RPAL, the Gbarnga Congress became necessary,” Mr. Woheel added.
Additionally, he said, this year’s congress is expected to address the aged-long problem of rubber theft, nursery development, decentralization of RPAL and or the price of rubber on the market.
“With the holding of the congress, we hope to put into place some mechanisms that will curtail the rubber theft, and also introduce registration for individual rubber farmers,” he declared.
The RPAL was organized by Liberian rubber farmers and trans-nationals in the 1950’s and eventually enacted by the Liberian National Legislature in 1966 as a body to represent, forester and protect the interest of the planting and or processing industry of Liberia.
Therefore, the RPAL is an embodiment of the rubber sub-sector.
Meanwhile, the RPAL has invited rubber farmers and processors across the country to assemble in Gbarnga and discuss issues relevant to the improvement of the rubber sub-sector of the country.