SIFCA CEO Alassane Doumbia meets with President George M. WeahThe Chairman of the SIFCA Group of Companies and owner of the Cavalla Rubber Corporation(CRC) and the Maryland Oil Palm Plantation (MOPP), Mr. Allasanne Doumbia has disclosed that work is already underway for the construction of what will be the largest oil palm mill in West Africa upon completion. According to Mr. Doumbia, the mill which will process 80 tons of fresh palm fruit daily is being constructed under a joint venture arrangement with the Golden Verroleum oil palm company.The total cost of the project is put at US$34 million dollars and is expected to boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings from the export of palm oil. Mr. Doumbia was speaking over the weekend at payment ceremonies marking the final settlement of money owed to affected farmers of the Baraake area for the loss of their home structures. He expressed delight over the successful outcome of negotiations leading to the payment over the weekend and the start-up of the oil palm mill project.“This morning, we met with His Excellency President George Manneh Weah. He told us how important agriculture is to him. He gave us his encouragement for our joint venture we are now preparing with GVL to build the biggest palm oil mill in the region. The project is well advanced, and the construction of the factory will soon start. I encourage all of you who have farm land to take advantage of this process”.“The factory is a clear testimony of our confidence in Liberia. We will not want to put more money here if we didn’t know it will work. Long before the republics of Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia, our people lived and worked together and shared everything. There is no reason why we cannot emulate that now”.Continuing he said, “currently, MOPP and CRC employ more than 2,000 people in full time jobs. Every month, we spend close to half a million dollars every month just in salary. You all know that the price of rubber has gone down massively in the past few years. The price of rubber in the world marked dropped significantly. In as much as this situation brought difficult financial times, we kept the work force and we paid the people the same salaries they were getting when things were good. That is how committed we are to the community”.Elaborating further, Allasane Doumbia said “We support a scholarship program at Tubman University and as member of the Board, we insist that agriculture and research be emphasized. We have a very well-staffed clinic in Pleebo. We have and continue to invest in the out-grower program and we want to extend the process further, so that farmers, people who have land, can make some good income. We contribute to the social development fund in keeping with corporate responsibility. Sometimes, we even go further. Like today, the money we are giving you we do it behalf of the Government. The Government of Liberia was supposed to pay this amount but knowing the financial difficulties of the country, we are doing that for you”.He said currently, palm fruit harvested in their concession area is taken across the border into La Cote d’Ivoire for processing noting that with the completion of the mill, all processing will be done in Liberia. He said workers are already being recruited to undergo training for the operation of the mill when completed, noting that a total of 300 workers will be required to man its operations. The proposed oil palm mill, the first of its kind in Liberia is expected to become operational later this year.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Real Madrid v Barcelona ‘They were overcome by military pressure’ – did General Franco help Real Madrid thrash Barcelona 11-1? Ignasi Oliva Last updated 1 year ago 23:12 12/22/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(13) Getty Images Real Madrid v Barcelona Real Madrid Barcelona Primera División Opinion There is still plenty of mystery surrounding the most one-sided Clasico clash in history, so Goal spoke to a football historian to find out more… The Clasico has a uniquely rich and varied history. From extraordinary exhibitions to controversial clashes, Real Madrid against Barcelona, football’s most famous fixture, has seen it all.In short, the Clasico never fails to generate talking points. However, there are some things that some people do not want to remember. The biggest ever scoreline between the two sides is a particularly touchy subject in both Catalunya and Madrid.On June 13, 1943, Real beat Barca 11-1 in the second leg of their Copa del Generalisimo (the Copa del Rey had been renamed in honour of Spain’s ruling fascist leader, Francisco Franco) semi-final tie. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “Real Madrid never show off about that match,” Joan Barau, a historian specialising in Barcelona’s history, tells Goal. “Basically, because that wasn’t a football match.”Barca had won the first leg 3-0 and travelled to the Estadio Chamartin (Real’s home before the Santiago Bernabeu) hoping to progress to the final.However, Barau says, “That Real Madrid turned the tie around isn’t surprising. What is surprising is the result, which perfectly explains that it was, in reality, a humiliation; a spectacle more akin to what could be seen in a Roman circus than at a football match.”In the first game, Les Corts (Camp Nou’s predecessor) had received Real amid a tense atmosphere, with the end of the Civil War just four years earlier still fresh in the memory.”There was a Law of Political Responsibilities, by which anyone who was not loyal at the beginning of the regime was deemed suspicious,” Barau explains.But Barca’s fans “were wound up by Real Madrid’s rough-house tactics”, which the Catalan club’s players also took exception to during a second leg which was played out in a particularly toxic atmosphere in the Spanish capital. Indeed, Barau says that the pro-Madrid media had written a number of scurrilous stories in the lead-up to the second leg which generated “such hostility” at Chamartin that the visitors did not dare participate in the proceedings. As a result, by half-time, Real were already 8-0 up, and Barca a man down, following the contentious dismissal of Benito Garcia.According to the widow of Barca goalkeeper Lluis Miro (in conversation years later with the journalist Xavier G. Luque), the Madrid forwards had kept pushing as if the game were still level.So, Miro gave them the ball and told them to score if they wanted, given they seemed so keen to publicly humiliate their opponents for their perceived insolence. The Real strikers refused that offer, but that still did not prevent the most one-sided result in the history of the Clasico: 11-1 to Madrid.”It is remembered as the match of shame,” Barau explains. “A result that Real Madrid have never boasted about because it hides ones of the worst ghosts from Spain’s darkest days.”Several members of the Barca squad and coaching staff have subsequently claimed that they were threatened by police before the kick-off and that they had been left so disgusted by what unfolded in the opening 45 minutes, that they did not want to go back out for the second half.Legend has it that the Spanish director of state security threatened them into doing so but Barau says, “That’s a story that nobody has ever been able to prove and there is not a single member of the Barcelona team left now.”But it’s obvious that in order to score 11 goals, you have to play against a rival that is absent, because it is not something normal at all.”There were, however, thinly veiled threats in the pro-Franco press in the build-up to the second leg in Madrid.”Those ‘warnings’ made some of the Barcelona players wonder if it was worth putting up any resistance at all,” Barau says, “and, in the end, they didn’t.”Because the game was to be much more than a sporting duel. It was all about teaching Barcelona a lesson and humiliating a club like no other that represented a way of thinking differently, much closer to the ideas of Catalanism.”It may seem strange for the Barca side to have buckled under such pressure. They were, after all, long used to all sorts of insults, with former player Mingo Balmanya recalling that they were labelled “Catalan dogs” at many other away grounds.However, Barau says, “In that tie, [at the Bernabeu], Barcelona were overcome by military pressure and people close to the Falange (the nation’s Fascist and National Syndicalist political party), which heated the atmosphere a great deal.”So, perhaps this was this match that made the Clasico such a politically charged fixture, which it will be again on Saturday, with Real and Barca set to meet at the Bernabeu against the backdrop of the Catalan elections and the contentious issue of the region’s independence. Happily, though, there is no chance of even the hint of political interference this time around and the hope will be that these two great footballing rivals will produce a game that fans on both sides will remember fondly for years to come.