A female operator in action on Cooper FarmThe Cooper Rubber Processing Plant (CRPP), the first 100 percent Liberian owned plant that will manufacture retreaded tires, roofing materials, electrical insulators, fixtures PVC pipes, fittings, rubber gloves, among others has been inaugurated in the country.Mr. James E. Cooper is the vice president of the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia (RPAL) and is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CRPP.The CRPP was inaugurated on Monday, June 4, at a well-attended ceremony graced by major players in the Liberian economy. The plant is located in Blagai, Bomi Highway.According to CEO Cooper CRPP purchases rubber from local farmers across the country and process them into crepe technically specified rubber (TSR) 10 which is then exported to automobile tire manufacturers in Asia and the United States.He said the plant also has the capacity to produce ribbed smoked sheets for export. Mr. Cooper is assisted by a team of national and foreign staff with diverse training and experiences in rubber related operations and other related fields. Mr. Cooper described the initiative as “A Call to Action” for Liberian entrepreneurs.“This is a call to action and the beginning of a national conversation about the importance and significance of rubber manufacturing,” he said.He noted that the crepe TSR is the highest quantities of commodities made on the farm, processed and sent away. “We want to do all these here and this is why we have built this plant,” Mr. Cooper said.Mr. Cooper noted, “What we’re trying to do here is simple; people have serious issues in Bomi and the way to do that provides them with jobs to boost our country’s economy.”“One of the things we have to put together is to create jobs for our people…if a man does not have a job, there will be no dignity; there’s no hope for the family at home. So the establishment of the plant will be able to contribute to the government’s pro-poor agenda,” he noted.He said the farm was originally established by his father in 1956 and in 1962 they began to sell rubber to Firestone. “Today I see in front of me my dream being realized – the first ever state of the art rubber processing plant in Liberia. I can proudly say we have arrived,” Mr. Cooper said.At Monday’s ceremony, CRPP also celebrated the grand opening of its specialty tire manufacturing facility, which will produce tires, slippers and other rubber materials for the first time in the country.(From left) Mr. Cooper, Cllr. Mulbah and Police IG Sudue with other guests at the facility.The inauguration of CRPP, he said comes with many benefits, including the expansion of its employees from 156 to 300, expansion of the revenue base for the government, increase in the price of raw rubber to local farmers and knowledge transfer to rubber manufacturing from foreign rubber manufacturers to Liberians.Mr. Cooper also stated that the dream of processing rubber for export, especially as a Liberian was not only ambitious but challenging. Mr. Cooper said he engaged and succeeded in getting funding from a private investor, Bob Jackson of the Liberian Economic Development and Financing Corporation (LEDFEC).As a new entrant in the rubber sector of Liberia, Mr. Cooper has succeeded in transforming latex and coagulated harvesting, selling raw rubber to processing and exporting quality rubber to Malaysia and the USA.He also believes that to remain a sustainable job creation entity, he must venture into manufacturing of rubber products for sale throughout West Africa.Additional funding was also sourced from the government through the Rubber Development Stimulus Fund. “The funding was helpful in constructing the factory and the administrative building as well as procuring machinery and equipment. It also helped in the process of building the capacities of the workers,” Mr. Cooper said.Cllr. Darku Mulbah, Solicitor General lauded Mr. Cooper for the initiative and assured he would the support of the Liberian government.Cllr. Mulbah also encouraged other Liberians to unite in order to move the country’s economy forward as well as better the lives of its citizens.Reiterating Cllr. Mulbah’s statement of support to the Cooper Farm, Inspector General of Police, Patrick Sudue encouraged other Liberians to put hands together and ensure that Liberia becomes great.In several remarks, the president of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment LBDI, John Davies pledged his support to Mr. Cooper’s initiative.Meanwhile observers say the initiative undertaken by Mr. Cooper offers a shining ray of hope especially to small and medium Liberian rubber farmers who have long been exploited by the big rubber companies especially Firestone by paying little or nothing to local farmers for their rubber. Currently, the Government of Liberia forbids the export of raw rubber by small producers but yet allow Firestone and other large rubber companies from doing so. According to themCurrently, according to a small rubber farmer(name withheld) there is a surcharge imposed on every ton of rubber sold by Liberian farmers and that tax money goes to the Liberia Rubber Planters Association(RPAL) which, rather than being of benefit to farmers has since instead become a virtual cash cow for Government officials as there is no accountability by the managers of such funds neither has there been any report over how much is being realized and how much has been realized over the years.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
If Olson does not play, Cowan appears to be the likely replacement, but Dorrell also said walk-on McLeod Bethel-Thompson could start. “We’ll have a quarterback in there,” Dorrell said. “I couldn’t tell you who right now.” Everett OK to play this week Bruins senior receiver Marcus Everett, who sprained his right ankle with 3:25 remaining and Utah ahead by 38 points, is expected to play against the Huskies, Dorrell said. X-rays were negative on Everett’s ankle, but Dorrell said the ankle was “really tender,” but “didn’t have a lot of swelling.” It means converted quarterback Osaar Rasshan should get his first meaningful playing time at receiver, Dorrell added. Price practices Freshman defensive tackle Brian Price, who could play up to 25 plays against Washington, practiced with the team for the first time since being cleared by the NCAA. “He has a good burst, and he’s quick,” UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker said. Making amends Bruins left guard Shannon Tevaga, who injured his right knee with 4:41 to play against Utah, walked into practice, and without prompting, turned to a few reporters and said, “I’ll be back next week.” Following practice Tevaga apologized to reporters for not speaking after the loss, and said he was willing to talk Tuesday, only to be deemed off limits to the media. Dorrell instituted a rule this year prohibiting injured players from talking to the media. In addition to Tevaga and Olson, other players requested by reporters but termed off limits Tuesday were Everett, defensive end Nikola Dragovic (concussion), fullback Michael Pitre (knee) and linebacker Aaron Whittington (concussion). Around the nation California: Coach Jeff Tedford said Matt Malele has a strained muscle in his foot and Rulon Davis has a sprained foot. The defensive linemen were injured Saturday. Tedford also said receiver DeSean Jackson probably won’t catch a pass in practice this week to preserve his sprained thumb, which has limited his effectiveness. Purdue: Running back Jaycen Taylor could return from a broken arm in six weeks. Coach Joe Tiller originally thought the former Leuzinger High standout might be out for the season after the junior was injured Saturday in a victory over Central Michigan. Stanford: Linebacker Fred Campbell will end his career after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured vertebrae in his neck. Campbell was injured in the Stanford’s game Saturday against San Jose State. He underwent the operation Monday at Stanford Hospital. Texas: Freshman running back James Henry has been charged with two felony counts of obstruction and tampering with evidence, making him the sixth Longhorns player arrested since June. Henry, who was arrested Monday, is accused of beating up one of the victims of a July home invasion that allegedly involved two other players, Andre Jones and Robert Joseph. The Associated Press contributed to this notebook 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Brian Dohn STAFF WRITER Quarterback Patrick Cowan took most of his snaps with UCLA’s first-team offense Tuesday, and he could find himself in that role Saturday when the Bruins host Washington at the Rose Bowl. Starter Ben Olson, who was sacked five times at Utah, did not practice because of a head injury. UCLA coach Karl Dorrell would not term Olson’s injury a concussion, but also was uncertain if the quarterback would practice today. “Ben has a headache, and he’s had this headache since Saturday night,” Dorrell said. “He feels better, but the doctors wanted him to stay out one more day. He feels good, but we’ll see how he does (today). We just want to be smart. We’ve had a rash of concussions, so we held him out for precautionary reasons.” Olson was requested for an interview, but he was not made available. UCLA does not make quarterbacks available to the media on Wednesdays. Olson’s injury comes as Cowan returned to practice. Cowan pulled his hamstring a month ago, and took part in his first full practice. Olson watched while wearing a baseball cap.