April 28, 2011

New Project Won: Liberia—Smallholder Oil Palm Support

ACDI/VOCA has won a three-year, $3.7 million Smallholder Oil Palm Support program (SHOPS) in Liberia to strengthen the palm oil value chain and drive rural economic growth.

Liberia is still recovering from a brutal civil war, during which its economic, social and public infrastructure was decimated by fighting and migration. The World Bank estimates that nearly 64 percent of the country’s population lives at or below the national poverty level, and average yearly income is approximately $160.

Improved Palm Oil Value Chain to Benefit Smallholder Farmers

With a focus on the key agricultural counties of Bong, Lofa, Nimba and Grand Bossa, SHOPS has the potential to "fast track" improvements and increase productivity along the entire value chain of Liberia's smallholder palm oil industry.

The primary product, red palm oil, is used for cooking and to make sweets, soaps and lotions. The fronds are used for brooms. The chaff and kernel shells are used for fuel. And leftover kernel cake feeds livestock.

While there has been an increase in plantation-grown oil palm in recent years, half of Liberia’s crop is produced by 220,000 women and men on small farms—harvested from forests where it grows abundantly.

With funding support from USAID, ACDI/VOCA will

  • increase the productivity and profitability of Liberia's smallholder oil palm sector
  • improve the marketing and trade capacity of this sector
  • improve the enabling environment and market support functions

ACDI/VOCA’s partner Winrock International will provide technical assistance regarding agricultural production, processing, marketing and support functions.

Learn more about ACDI/VOCA’s work in Liberia.