Solidaridad West Africa-Liberia has begun the construction of a mill for more than 25 local oil palm producers in Coniwein Town, Compound2, Grand Bassa County.
The project according to the Management of the organization is a covert initiative that is expected to benefit more than 25 smallholder oil palm producers in the area.
Speaking during a day-long tour at the ongoing construction site in the county, Solidaridad Liberia Country Representative, Michael Doe said that the purpose of the visit was to ensure that the process of installation is completed as soon as possible so that local farmers can be relieved of the difficulties they faced in producing palm oil.
The visitation was carried out from Coniwein Compound 2 to processing facilities in Teekor Town milling facilities where over 30 local farmers gathered to welcome the management of Solidaridad.
Mr. Doe also disclosed that the project is one out of many that the organization has initiated. He, however, failed to state the total cost of the ongoing project because it “Is a covert project” with support from its partners.
He further mentioned that the installation of the machine is intended to increase the yield of palm production in the oil palm sector of Liberia.
He stated that the success of the project comes as a result of a partnership between the Kingdom of Netherlands.
“We have been working over the years, and today we are here to see the progress made so far,” he added.
Mr. Doe told the local farmers that the visit was also aimed at teaching local farmers about how to get more products and how the people will process them effectively and efficiently.
“Solidaridad has been able to work with the community to build this structure. And when it is finished, we will get the mill here where people will process their palm oil,” he noted.
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He said at present, the oil extraction rate is just a little percent, but with the availability of the mill in Coniwein Town and other surrounding villages, it will pop up to 15 or 20 percent.
“You will have more than what you were reproducing.”
Galah Toto, National Oil Palm Platform of Liberia Manager, thanked Solidaridad for the great initiative. “We have been around since 2018, and we are happy that one of our members who is a local farmer is here,” Mr. Toto said.
Meanwhile, Frank Jackson, a local farmer has described the mill project as a game-changer in terms of higher oil extraction rate.
He lauded Solidaridad for the initiative, adding that the project is a good one because it will create employment, less work, as well as enable farmers to get more involved, interested, and make more money.
“People will be encouraged to get involved in palm products.”
The facility is under construction with about 90% complete. When completed, local producers will now have the time to produce more.
Ahead of the installing process, Mr. Jackson has already trained about 25 members who according to him are now owners of farms.