-As LACA Identifies With Nimba
The Liberian Agricultural Companies Association (LACA), an organization of agriculture companies operating in Liberia, has identified with victims of the mining disaster in Gbanepea, Nimba County, with the donation of 250 bags of 25kg rice.
Making the donation Tuesday at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Monrovia, Mr. Henri O. Harmon, Executive Director of LACA said the organization is in sympathy with the victims of the mine disaster and therefore decided to provide relief through food.
“We are here to offer sympathy to the grieving families and friends of the victims, LACA is working with GOL to ensure that we provide jobs to the youth of Liberia,” Harmon said.
Noting that if the Government of Liberia could ensure that the agricultural companies already operating in Liberia are provided the needed land area to expand their operations, LACA’s members could provide tens of thousands of jobs to Liberians and help avert these tragedies, such as mining accidents.
“We are really sorry for these kinds of situations, but it tells us that we need to find a permanent solution, so that we do not have a repeat”, he added.
Harmon then reiterated that Liberia has the second highest daily minimum wage in the West African region; therefore, once all agriculture companies are operating at their full potential, they could provide enough jobs to keep Liberians away from illicit mining and other illegal activities.
LACA, Harmon stressed, will continue to engage the Government of Liberia to ensure that agriculture companies are provided the enabling environment to expand their investment and provide jobs for Liberians.
He said LACA has always identified with Liberia and all Liberians, especially in times of need, including this disaster.
The LACA official concluded by restating that “companies are willing to invest more in the agriculture sector, which will provide more jobs, so just give them land and create a conducive environment and see how many people will get jobs. “
Receiving the Purchase Order for the 250 bags of rice to be received from a local supplier, Supplying West Africa Trader Incorporated, Internal Affairs Minister Varney A. Sirleaf thanked LACA for the donation and said it will go a long way in helping victims of the mining disaster.
“As head of the team managing the disaster in Nimba County, we want to say thank you for this gesture. We will ensure it reaches the intended beneficiaries”, Minister Sirleaf said.
Minister Sirleaf said the Government of Liberia is working to resolve the issues facing agriculture concessionaires in the country in order for these companies to help provide jobs.
“We are working on many things, issues related to land, so that we can provide a suitable environment for agriculture companies to contribute to the development of the country”, the Internal Affairs Minister said.
He assured that the Government of Liberia will continue to hold discussions with local communities in making available land for investment in the agriculture sector.
LACA is an association of agricultural companies operating in Liberia with membership including: Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL), Equatorial Palm Oil (EPO), Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDPL), Maryland Oil Palm Plantation (MOPP), Liberian Agricultural Company (LAC), Salala Rubber Corporation (SRC), Cavalla Rubber Corporation (CRC) and Firestone Plantation Liberia.