The Ghana Rubber Estate Limited (GREL) is to begin the construction of a second factory this year in the Western Region; a project that is set to generate over 2,000 jobs in the first phase.
Estimated to cost about 50 million Euros, the first phase is scheduled to be completed in 2019 and the final phase in 2028, Managing Director of the GREL, Lionel Barre told journalists at a media interaction at the company’s factory at Agona in the Ahanta West District.
“…in the first phase 2019, we will create between 2,000 and 3,000 field jobs so the field is giving more jobs than the factor [while] the final phase will be totally settled on 2028,” he said.
Mr Barre also announced the company’s decision to widen its rubber plantation, adding they intend operate small offices in Greater Accra and Eastern regions.
“ We will also be implementing small edifices in Accra and Eastern region so we develop all the jobs,” he said.
GREL is currently recording a nucleus production of 50% while its out-growing section also produces 50% amid several challenges which impede operational cost.
The managing director noted the invasion of some Asian private buyers was threatening the company hence wants government to set out clear policies to guide competitions from such foreign buyers.
He explained that the company facilitated for some rubber farmers to be given loans by financial institutions to expand their plantation, which he said they are to repay within seven years through monthly deductions from source.
According to him, these farmers have gone against the terms of repayment by trading with the Asian buyers, thus making it difficult for GREL to deduct the monthly loan repayment amount on behalf of the banks.
“The loans they have received, we are supposed to deduct to refund the banks… now people have come in, without respecting the rules, they are just picking the rubbers. These buyers we know are from Asia,” he said
He has consequently expressed fears the banks may confiscate the plantations of these farmers should they renege on their financial obligations. He was, however, hopeful a government intervention may cut off the foreign buyers.
Mr Barre said farmers are putting themselves at risk because the bank will not continue to tolerate their dealings with the foreigners, saying “so the risk for them is to lose the farm because one day the banks may intervene [because] they are not getting their money back”
By Loveridge Ampratwum Okyere|Connect FM|3news.com