The Management of the Salala Rubber Corporation, SRC, a rubber plantation company located in Gibi District, upper Margibi County has commenced the payment for crops that were damaged from several local farmers and villagers in the SRC concessional areas during its plantation expansion exercise.
Because of this significant initiative by the Salala Rubber Corporation, farmers in the Kolleh Town area and other surrounding villages have signed and received sums for crops damaged from them by the company.
The Salala Rubber Corporation was established in 1959 through a concession right given by the Liberian government to operate eight thousand five hundred (8,500) hectares of land in Margibi County adjacent Salala District.
However, the company only developed four thousand, (4,000) Hectares out of the eight thousand, (8,500) hectares given it since the signing of the concession agreement with the Liberian government back in 1959.
When the company commenced its plantation expansion activities 2000, it affected several farmers and their crops. That made the locals to claim title right to the land as it was their ancestral property and have lived and farmed there for several years prior to the coming of the Salala Rubber Corporation in 1959.
However, due to the timely intervention from authorities of Margibi County including some members of the legislative caucus following series of intense negotiations, metamorphosed into these farmers always receiving payments for their damaged crops.
As the situation heightened, it led to the temporary stoppage of normal working activities of the company on several occasions due to mounting tension from locals thus giving the company a serious negative impression to the larger public as being insensitive to the rights of them.
The company is to pay according to the agreement reached with the locals, which will give the company the green light to continue with its plantation expansion exercises.
Meanwhile, the Management of the Salala Rubber Corporation has expressed its profound gratitude to the local leadership; the villagers within the environs of SRC Rubber Plantation; members of the Legislative Caucus of Margibi County; the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the level of assistance received during the entire discussions between the locals and the company.
However, there is a longer and continued discussion between SRC Management and locals for better understanding during its operations in the area.
Already, the company in adherence to strict environmental protection laws of Liberia, the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) has certificated the Salala Rubber Corporation following the submission of an environmental management plan. Because of this, the company is preserving all biodiversities by protecting swamps that are in all of its concession areas.