The Liberia Cocoa Corporation or LCC has begun a crop plantation in Quardu Gbondi District, Lofa County at the cost of US$30 million. Winston Tolbert, General Manger of the LCC told the New Dawn that US$12 million will be spent on the first phase of the project. He said several Ghanaian and Ivorian experts have begun arriving at the establishment bordering neighboring Guinea. They are to assist in providing the layout of the plantation blocking system.
Tolbert said they have hired the services of a labor force of 315 locals, mainly youths from every part of the country. He said the plantation will yield both Ivorian and Ghanaian hybrid cocoa.
He said about 15000 hectares (cocoa seedlings) will be the first largest commercial cocoa plantation in Liberia, noting that the establishment of the plantation is to enhance the government’s poverty reduction strategy (PRS).
Thirteen traditional farmers have benefitted from the plantation operations by turning their cultivated rice farms for payment to the plantation management. He did not however state the cost involved. The Liberia Cocoa Corporation is located in the border town of Sazanda in Quardu Gbondi District, Lofa County near Guinea.
Winston Tolbert said since the establishment of the plantation, the rate of crime and prostitution in Lofa has deceased, stressing that the police do not have much work to keep them busy anymore because many of the youths are now engaged to improve their livelihood and those of their families.
Meanwhile, one of the casual laborers at the plantation has expressed delight for the project. Sekou Kamara said he was somehow satisfied with a Job with a salary of US$75 per month.