The News LIB, 06/23/2015 By N. Dweh Nimley
Over 50 stakeholders as well as owners of smaller farmers from the rubber sector of the country are attending the training.
The training is organized by GROW Liberia, an international business developer that is financed by Adam Smith International.
The week-long technical training is part of effort to ensure that farmers are equipped with relevant knowledge on how to process their rubber into technical specified blocks for export.
Dr. Tillekeratne, an international rubber expert and a former director of the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka is expected to help in the development of Liberia’s RSS industry as well as the training of RSS manufacturers and their affiliated clusters of smallholder rubber producers.
Speaking Monday at the start of the training, the head of Bright Farms Richard Bright said farmers appreciate the holding of the workshop, because it is something that will educate them on how they could develop their sector as well as attract sufficient income generation.
Bright indicated that when owners of farms are generating more income, they will be able to pay their workers better and expand their farms.
For his part, GROW Liberia team leader Jaime Reibel said Dr. Tillekeratne has authored several technical guides that have become the basic of rubber and RSS production worldwide.
According to Reibel, GROW’s interest in the rubber sector is to facilitate interventions that will create, strengthen and repair the market-driven rubber value chain.
He said it is not enough to produce technically high grade RSS as an alternative to the sale of raw latex.
Reibel stressed the need for focus to be placed on market mechanisms by way of the value chain which include planting, tapping, and transporting latex, among others.
He disclosed that GROW envisages the establishment of upstream factories in Liberia in order to enhance locally produced RSS to manufacture products.
Making remarks, Dr. Tillekeratne said the training will educate farmers how they could earn better income as well as to improve their farms.
He said educating farmers on how to make better income will lead to national development.