Farmers in Liberia record a boom in oil palm yields after training

Smallholder farmers implementing best management practices in oil palm fields in Liberia are recording 50 percent increases in yield following two years of the Sustainable West Africa Palm Oil Programme (SWAPP). This has contributed to improved incomes and general well being of farmers.

Edwin Zumba has increased oil palm yields after training in sustainable practices

Better for livelihoods and the environment

Edwin Zumba, an oil palm farmer in Tudin, Nimba County says that before he joined the Sustainable West Africa Palm Oil Programme he had no knowledge of sustainable farming practices. His yield was always low, which affected his income and livelihood. After implementing the new knowledge and skills he acquired from the training, his yields have increased twofold.

Previously I could harvest one barrel of crude palm oil after processing, but now I am able to get two barrels of palm oil from the same piece of land. This has improved my income and I can support my children’s education." – Edwin Zumba, oil palm farmer

Like Edwin, many more farmers are benefiting from the training in best management practices, including regular weeding, pruning, fertilizer application and planting of cover crops in oil palm fields. Farmers were also encouraged to stick to a timely harvesting plan and create harvesting circles of a 1.5-metre radius around the plants to ensure easy picking of palm fruits during harvesting. Solidaridad has trained 1,300 females and 2,950 males, who are practicing sustainable oil palm production on 58 hectares of farmlands. 

“We are happy to see that the farmers are responding to our support to improve oil palm cultivation in local communities and transform their living conditions," says Jarjilo Cyrus Saygbeto, Oil Palm Programme Manager at Solidaridad in Liberia.  

Creating change at scale

Edwin Zumba has increased his oil palm yield twofold since completing the trainings

In addition to Liberia, the second phase of the Sustainable West Africa Palm Oil Programme is being implemented in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The programme focuses on intensification through best management practice to transform the oil palm sector in West Africa, increase incomes of smallholder farmers and processors, and generate economic growth.

It also provides improved oil palm seedlings to smallholder farmers to promote sustainable production of oil palm in the subregion. In 2019, about 90,000 oil palm seedlings were raised. More than 60 per cent of matured seedlings were distributed to farmers across the region for planting.

The programme, funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Accra, Ghana, and implemented in Liberia by Solidaridad, seeks to scale up sustainable intensification of oil palm production. 

Read more about our work in Palm Oil.