Business News of 2014-04-15

Rana Motors partners rubber growers

Rana Motors, an automobile firm in the country, has gone to the aid of rubber growers by providing them with various financial packages to acquire trucks for carting their produce.

Under the package, a farmer pays 20 per cent of the cost of the truck and spreads the rest over of 36 months. The other option is to pay 35 per cent upfront and spread the rest over 24 months.

The Regional Sales Executive, Mr Ernest Okine Tawiah, explained that farmers could purchase vehicles such as Ashok Leyland trucks and buses, Ford trucks, as well as vehicle accessories.

He spoke to the Daily Graphic after the 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Rubber Outgrowers and Agents Association at West Tanokrom, Takoradi.

The company’s plan is aimed at alleviating challenges individual rubber growers face, especially those in the Western Region, in transporting their produce to the main buyer, the Ghana Rubber Estate Ltd (GREL), which operates in the Ahanta West District in the region.

The regional sales executive said after carefully assessing the activities of the farmers, the company came up with various packages to assist the farmers to own the trucks.

Mr Tawiah said some of the farmers rented used trucks and ended up spending more money on them, “therefore, coming up with a package that helps them to own new trucks was to help them”.

The Western Regional Chairman of the association, Mr S.M.S. Quaicoe, said the package was timely and vital to the operations of farmers.

Mr Quaicoe said outgrowers currently engaged in the production of rubber had increased, therefore, it was difficult for GREL as a profit-oriented company to go round every farm across regions to cart their produce to their premises.

Frequency of carting and cost

He said the harvesting patterns of the farmers varied as some farmers wished they sent the harvested rubber to GREL every two weeks while others wished they did it once a month, but because of transportation challenges they had to stock it much longer and eventually it lost weight.

“Even from the immediate environs, the vehicles that we hire charge between ¢200.00 and ¢300.00 and we end up working for the drivers or vehicle owners.Therefore, the package from Rana Motors is timely and will help us,” he said.

Asked if the rubber farmers or the farming was lucrative enough to guarantee the repayment of the trucks, Mr Quaicoe said rubber plantation was one of the businesses that do not attract financing.

He said since all the growers belonged to the association, it was important that those in the hinterland or far from GREL organise themselves into groups to buy the trucks and service them in turns.

Mobile workshop

As part of the package, Rana Motors has provided mobile services for the farmers to ensure that those farming in the northern part of the region could call and the technical team from the company’s base would move to service the vehicles.