Since 2003, Liberia has made admirable economic strides in overcoming the legacy of two civil wars that left the country’s infrastructure and institutions in ruins. But in 2014, Liberia was once again plunged into the abyss by the deadly Ebola crisis which stalled the country’s considerable economic progress.
In early 2015, IFC and GAFSP joined forces to support Liberian rubber farmers in their efforts towards economic recovery following the Ebola crisis. This project was part of IFC’s Ebola Recovery Program which required a timely reaction to provide financing to local private companies to reach outgrowers and smallholder farmers and increase agricultural productivity.
Supported by GAFSP and IFC, this combined $25 million investment targets long-term funding though local banks to provide access to affordable financing to Liberian rubber farmers seeking to renovate and replant old and underproductive rubber trees. Firestone Company is a sponsor in this program and will provide 600 independent outgrower farmers with technical support, guidance, and new planting material, as well as a secure off-take agreement. This will enhance the farmers’ ability to access long-term affordable financing to replant and rehabilitate up to 8,000 hectares of rubber farms over a four to five-year period. The financing will be available through partner banks to whom IFC and GASFP will offer partial credit guarantees or long-term funding that makes it possible for these banks to lend to eligible farmers.
8,000 hectares of rubber farms renovated
The project financing will provide access to long-term affordable financing for up to 600 farms of Liberian rubber outgrowers to replant and rehabilitate up to 8,000 hectares of rubber farms over a five-year period.
$1,600 increase per hectare in farmer incomes
The proposed financing will increase rubber farmer incomes by $1,600 per hectare, creating opportunities for farmers and their families at a time when many Liberians’ source of income has been diminished by the spread of Ebola.
4,500 new farmers will benefit
Over the next five years, it is expected that this project will reach up to 4,500 rubber farmers across Liberia from the current base of 1,500 farmers.
Mr. Niraj Shah
Head, GAFSP Private Sector Window
Tel: 202 473 3743