IMPORTANCE OF RUBBER FARMING IN LIBERIA

  • Employment opportunities to the people e.g. rubber harvesters, managers of plantations, etc.
  • Income to the harvesters hence raising their standards of living.




  • Government revenue through taxation and licensing
  • Foreign exchange through export of rubber and rubber products.
  • Production of domestic and industrial items like tyres, insulators, safety boots that are sold at relatively cheaper prices to the home people.
  • Growth of small scale out-grower schemes hence raising their standards of living.
  • Skill acquisition by latex harvesters and processors
  • Promotion of international trade and relations with Britain, USA, that import Liberia’s rubber.
  • Promotion of agricultural research through propagation or grafting.
  • Development of other sectors from rubber profits e.g. health, education, etc




  • Rubber trees help in climate modification through evapo-transpiration
  • Plantations are used as demonstration farms for study and research

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HARVESTING AND PROCESSING OF RUBBER IN LIBERIA

  • Nursery stage for 9 months and propagation by grafting a bud from a mature tree taking 5 to 7 years for latex to be tapped.




  • Latex is harvested very early in the morning by making a slanting cut on the bark of the tree at 35° done once every 2 days, in a small metallic bowl lasting for 10 to 20 years.
  • Latex is then collected into bigger vessels and taken to processing factories
  • At the factories, latex is diluted with water to avoid a sticky substance
  • The solution is then mixed either with acetic or formic acid forming a spongy coagulated mass
  • Coagulated mass is then rolled to drain out moisture/water and placed on rackets or platforms for sun drying to remove any moisture




  • After removing the moisture a rubber sheet is formed from which materials for industrial and domestic use are got

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FACTORS FAVOURING RUBBER GROWING IN LIBERIA

  • Conducive climate with temperatures ranging between 24°C to 27°C and rainfall of 2500 mm• Extensive land in the south e.g. around Cavalla.




  • Available cheap labor from former freed slaves
  • Vast drainage with rivers like Fring and Cavalla, St. John that provide water for irrigation and to be used in industries.
  • Adequate capital from government and Firestone company
  • Positive government policy to provide meaningful employment to freed slaves
  • Large/ready market for the rubber within and outside Liberia
  • Efficient/improved transport and communication network for latex i.e. Railway, water transport
  • Agricultural modernization like propagation or grafting where a bud from a mature tree is grafted onto a young rubber tree
  • Presence of out-growers who sell latex to the bigger companies hence increasing production.
  • Nearness to the Atlantic ocean causing humid conditions in the south that are vital in the growing and harvesting of rubber.




  • Political stability though with civil unrest but, the south has been relatively peaceful.

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