Commercial Agricultural Producers and Processors Provide 12,300 Jobs in Sierra Leone

Under its umbrella association named Commercial Agricultural Producers and Processors Association (CAPPA), the body has provided over 12,300 jobs nationwide of which 25% are women. CAPPA members now have Sierra Leoneans in senior management teams with over 30 Sierra Leoneans employed in management positions which will grow as more experience and skills are developed.

CAPPA was formed in 2016 by a group of Commercial Agricultural Companies operating in various areas within Sierra Leone that are in the business of producing or in the process of producing Palm Oil, Timber, Pineapples & Processed Products, Agricultural Crop Seeds, and Alcohol for consumption and energy. CAPPA membership is open to all Commercial Agri-business and Agro-processing Companies. It aims to act as the Principal Coordinating Body representing all Commercial Agricultural Producers and Processing Companies in Sierra Leone.

The membership of CAPPA comprises Socfin Company, Miro Forestry Company, Sierra Tropical Company, Goldtree Company, Sierra Tropical, Sunbird Company, and Bengal Agro SL Limited which continue to invest a considerable sum of money into the Sierra Leone Agricultural Industry.

In 2021, 60,000 tonnes of palm oil were produced by Socfin and Goldtree for the local market; two refineries in downstream processing were established in 2019. And the dependence on palm oil produced by CAPPA companies for the production of cooking oil, soap and margarine for the Sierra Leone market saves millions of dollars by reducing the imports of these commodities. The production of utility poles by Miro Forestry company for the local market saves the country from the foreign exchange burden to purchase the same abroad. Miro also exports Edge Glue Board which also improves the country’s balance of trade.

In the area of inclusive business model, several of the CAPPA members have embarked on Outgrower programmes. Goldtree has supported over 10,000 smallholders to gain EU organic certification. The smallholders have benefitted immensely from over 200ha of high-yielding varieties as well as training in sustainable farming and their livelihoods. Miro Forestry Company has supported 10 farmers to establish 130 hectares of woodlot with an off-take agreement to buy the timber products from them when the trees are due for harvest.

Further to all of these achievements, the membership of CAPPA also prioritises livelihood support to inhabitants in their localities. To start with, all CAPPA members have Community Development Action Plan (CDAP) and CSR projects as part of their commitment to improving community living standards. Many of these include interventions in health, education, water & sanitation and livelihood development schemes.

Many improvements to road networks, creating new roads, upgrading and building new schools and clinics, scholarships, electrification of clinics, providing mechanical cultivation for larger rice farming areas, microfinance, provision of education materials, improved sanitation, wells, well-pump repairs and so on.

Additional economic opportunities are being created by supporting local artisans and utilizing local contractors to carry out plantation operations.

CAPPA members also place great importance on food security with over 25,000 families benefiting from a range of different interventions such as seeds for planting, mechanical cultivation and harvesting equipment. Its membership works towards the improvement and development of Sierra Leone and is an important Association driving commercial agriculture in Sierra Leone.

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