Ghana Rubber Estates Limited (GREL) started as a small private plantation established by R. T. Briscoe in 1957 at Dixcove with a plantation size of 923 hectares. The plantation was nationalized into Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) in 1960 and later, State Farms Corporation in 1962. At that time, the rubber plantation had expanded to 36,390 hectares in Dixcove, Abura and Subri.

The Ghana Government, in 1967,established a joint venture company with Firestone Tyre Company of USA to take over the rubber plantation. This joint venture company was Ghana Rubber Estates Limited (GREL). By then, the plantation had expanded to 39,390 hectares.

GREL became wholly state-owned in 1980 when Firestone sold its shares in GREL to the Ghana Government. However, the Ghana Government entered into a financing agreement with the then Caisse Française de Development (CFD) now Agence Française de Developpment to rehabilitate and manage the company’s rubber plantation and to build a new rubber processing plant at Apimenim.

After the rehabilitation in 1996, the French management company, Societe Internationale d Plantation d’ Hevea (SIPH) became the major shareholder of the company.

1898: Hevea was introduced in Ghana in the botanic garden of Aburi near Accra
1930’s: The United African Company (UAC) carried out tests on a small scale   in the Western Region
1957: The East Asiatic Company, a Danish company, proceeds with the plantation of Dixcove (923ha) which was nationalized in 1960 and   became a state farm in 1962
1960: The Ghana Government produces 3,500 ha cooperative plantations (20ha on the average per unit).
1968: The Ghana Government signs a joint venture with FIRESTONE to build a tyre plant at Bonsaso and develop the GREL plantation
1981: Firestone leaves GREL which becomes a state farm, the co-operatives  production to Firestone and sold a major part of GREL was abandoned
1988-90:        SODECI performs the first rehabilitation phase of GREL (3,000 ha and infrastructures).
1991: SODECI starts the rehabilitation phase 2 (6,175 ha old plantations to   be rehabilitated and 2,700 ha extension, construction of a new plant at Agona).
1992: GREL takes back the purchases of rubber from the cooperatives
1995: Launch of the first program of outgrower project.
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COMPANY HISTORY & MILESTONES

1957:           Ghana Rubber Estates Ltd. (GREL) started as a small private plantation owned by R.T. Briscoe covering an area of 923 hectares at Abura in the Western Region.
 
1960:      The plantation was nationalized and managed by Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC)
 
1962:                                  ADC was incorporated into State Farms Corporation (SFC). SFC expanded the plantation to 36,390 hectares in Dixcove, Abura and Subri with total planted area of 1,989 hectares.
 
1967:  Ghana Rubber Estates Limited (GREL) was officially established by Firestone Company. GREL took over the ADC assets and extended the total surface planted to 3,000 hectares.
 
1988: A rehabilitation programme financed by the Government of Ghana(GOG) and Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) yields the following;
  • 3,000 hectares of new rubber plantation was established
  • A 40 tonne per day processing factory was built at Apimenim to replace the 20 tonne per day processing factory at Bonsaso.
  • The plantation’s infrastructure was expanded
  • New vehicles and equipments were purchased.
  • Rubber Out grower Project launched

1995:  Phase 1 of Rubber Out grower Project of 1,200 hectares for 400  farmers was launched
 
1996:  GREL becomes a private company with Societe Internationale de Plantations d’Hevea  (SIPH) of France holding the majority shares.
 
1999:  GREL was selected as the Technical Operator of the Coconut Project of GOG which was aimed at revitalizing the coconut sector from theCape St. Paul Wilt Disease devastation.
 
2002: Phase 2 Rubber Out grower Project was launched.
 
2004:                   Coconut project officially ended with the following successes chalked
  • New seed garden was established at Bonsaso near Tarkwa in the Wassa West District of western Region.
  • A disease-resistant coconut variety was established (Vanuatu Tall Coconut Variety, VTT) at the Oil Palm research Institute (OPRI), Kusi.
  • A total of 1,300 hectares of  CSPWD devastated areas were replanted with disease tolerant hybrid (MYD x VTT) coconut seedlings for 1,025 farmers in 60 communities in Nzema East, Ahanta West, Wassa West, Shama Ahanta East Districts all in the Western Region and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem and Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese district in the Central region.
  • Under this component 1,464 hectares representing 73% of the project target of 2,000 hectares were fertilized with 1,342.88 metric tonnes of fertilizer of 537 farmers in the Jomoro and Nzema East districts of the Western Region.
  • Coconut Farmers Association formed.

2006:     
Phase 3 Rubber Out grower Project was launched.
 
2007: GREL launched its Sustainable Development policy as part of the SIFCA Group policy. This is outlined as follows;
  • Assess the impact of the rubber industry on the environment, the workers and the local communities.
  • Six priority areas of commitment were identified with action plans as follows:
  • Safety: Sensitization of employee’s attention to work place accidents.
  • Provision and use of safe equipments (machines) and Personal Protective Equipments.
  • Provision of decent accommodation for workers
  • Prevention of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, Malaria
  • Reduce pollution by keeping the environment clean
  • Peaceful coexistence for sustainable development in communities.

2010:     

Phase 4 Rubber Out grower Project was launched. 

   

GREL currently has a land surface of 13,377 hectares planted with rubber of which 9,034 hectares are under tapping.  The processing factory produces 15,000kg DRC of rubber per annum with 5,000kg DRC coming from the out growers.