In 1926, the Liberian government granted Firestone a 99-year lease for a million acres (to be chosen by the company wherever in Liberia) at a price of 6 cents per acre, Firestone then set about establishing rubber tree plantations of the non-native South American rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis in the country.
Firestone Liberia has been a trusted partner of the people and country of Liberia for many decades. The company makes unparalleled contributions to the economic and social development of the country, leading Liberia’s private sector in employment, education, and healthcare opportunities for thousands of its citizens.
While most other major concessionaires operating in Liberia at the time of the civil war’s outbreak in 1989 left the country, many to never return, Firestone Liberia maintained its presence to the long-term benefit of its employees, their dependents, and the country as a whole.
During the conflict, most of Firestone Liberia’s infrastructure and farm were destroyed. By the end of the war, the company needed to invest approximately USD $200 million to repair the damage and bring the farm back to its pre-war condition. Since then, Firestone Liberia has continued to invest in restoring operations back to their full operational capacity. Despite these efforts, the farm still only produces a third of its pre-war production due to the length of time needed to plant, grow, and tap the rubber trees.
How to get to Firestone rubber plantation in Liberia
The Firestone rubber plantation is located 60 km from the capital Monrovia and using a 4×4 vehicle the trip can take about 2 hours and it’s a very informative trip and if you have time you can visit the rubber plantation, it’s a huge estate that has a golf course and staff quarters.
For more information contact Wilderness Explorers Africa to seek permission to tour the rubber plantation.