The Liberia Agriculture Company is Good, Good,
Good for Grand Bassa County
By Rufus S. Berry II
The Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC) has been a part of the community in Grand Bassa County since 1959. Over the years, LAC hired thousands of Grand Bassa citizens; thus enabling their children and grand children to receive an excellent education. LAC has built schools, hospitals and a number of much needed community facilities, for the residents of Grand Bassa County.
In order to compete in the global economy, the management of LAC must expand their rubber plantation facilities. In order to expand, the company must reclaim land that historically belonged to LAC. Before and during the war, Liberian citizens moved on to the vacant land and established their homes and huge farms. LAC reached an agreement with the government to relocate over six hundred villagers, living on the land, in district numbers three and four in Grand Bassa County. LAC will pay the affected villagers fair market value for their crops and huts. This will enable the villagers to purchase land elsewhere and build new homes.
LAC is committed to good citizenship through proactive collaboration. The company thoroughly respects the laws, values and culture of the people of Grand Bassa County. In the past, LAC gave building materials and money to the first group of villagers who willingly agreed to relocate. LAC helped some of these villagers to establish new farms, including rubber farms.
According to Grand Bassa County Senior Senator, Gbehzohngar Finley, and Superintendent Julia M. Duncan-Cassell, the expansion of LAC will quickly improve the lives of residents in the area. LAC will provide employment opportunities for people in the county.
Liberia needs well-paying jobs, in the private sector, to enable its reconstruction and the healing process. Jobs provide stability. Stability helps to establish thriving communities. LAC will bring well-paying jobs to Grand Bassa County, and help it to become a thriving community. LAC operations in Liberia provide a win-win situation with all parties benefiting. LAC intends to provide social services including safe drinking water, electricity, clinics and schools in Grand Bassa County, after the relocation.
Unfortunately the Bassa Students’ Union, and
citizens including Charles W. Brumskine and Byron Tarr
are opposed to the expansion of LAC. For what reason?
LAC is not evacuating villagers, as some are falsely
claiming. LAC is voluntarily relocating villagers in
district numbers three and four. Who can oppose much
needed schools, safe drinking water, electricity, and
hospitals for Liberian citizens? Opposing LAC impedes
economic development, employment, and revenue generation
to combat health problems. Opposing LAC promotes low
levels of education, and inadequate infrastructure in
Grand Bassa County.
After many years of civil unrest, Liberia can emerge as a beacon of hope for the entire African continent. Right now, Liberia is one of the least developed and most impoverished countries in the world. Liberians must stop playing political games, and embrace every opportunity that offers a better life for the people of Liberia. LAC will improve life in Grand Bassa County and bring about positive change. We cannot afford to let self-centered politicians play political tricks that distract the Liberian people. Liberia’s emerging democracy is very fragile. It is imperative that Liberia develops a sound economy, in order to achieve political stability and progress.
Every corporation has the responsibility to use its resources to positively impact the citizens in its community. However, LAC cannot be a good corporate citizen if it is not allowed to help the people in its community. In today’s Liberia, private investment, in infrastructure, is key to a successful and prosperous nation.
LAC is good for the people of grand Bassa County. LAC maintains the road from Buchanan to the border of Bassa, Bong and Nimba, every quarter. LAC gives medical access, to people outside of Grand Bassa County, at a discount of nearly 90 percent. LAC provides three free schools, each with nearly 4,000 students from K to 9th grade. Tenth to twelfth grade costs only $20 a year, per student. LAC provides scholarships for students, in the community, to attend the school system.
The Liberia Agriculture Company recently built a bridge over the Zloh River. As part of its short term plan, LAC acquired materials to build two hospitals, and three schools. LAC is currently building a network of roads, and will be rehabilitating the Zondo Mission School. This school produced leaders like Abba Karngar, and John Innis.
According to the management of LAC, there are plans to upgrade the school systems to a college. By next year, all students in the LAC school system will have access to computer courses. Other students from the region will have special passes, to access these computers over the weekend. Within a few years, Grand Bassa County could have the best schools, clinics, and roads. With the help of LAC, Grand Bassa County could also have electricity, academic scholarships, and flourishing technology courses.
The work that LAC did in the past was laudable; however, there is more work to be done for the residents of Grand Bassa County. I’m calling on the sons and daughters of Grand Bassa County to support the expansion of LAC. LAC will provide training and tools that transform the community and help the people of Grand Bassa realize their potential.
As Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela said, “The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us. We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination. We commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, just and lasting peace.”
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