The Oil Palm Outgrower Scheme in Liberia is anchored in the Liberian oil palm concessions, as a joint program between oil palm companies, the government of Liberia (GoL) and the local community with the goal to improve community livelihoods.
The oil palm companies Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) and Sime Darby have engaged in concessions agreements with the Government of Liberia (GoL). These require concessionaires (oil palm companies) to develop one hectare of community outgrower oi palm per five hectares of plantation oil palm. GoL is tasked with mobilizing the funding for the outgrower program.
Despite several initiatives supporting discussions and research on the outgrower model, as of today GoL has not been able to secure the required funding for the program. Collaboration with Norway and IDH, however, has enabled a first investment proposal to be made.
This page brings together all earlier documentation on the outgrower program, as well as on the currently proposed Community Oil palm and Forest protection investment.
Any questions or remarks can be shared with Nienke Stam, senior program manager.
Outgrower scheme, forest protection and FPIC
Community information provision and decision making support process summary and full document: The purpose of this outline is to ensure that all stakeholders including IDH, FDA, MoA, the Concession Holders and others have a common understanding of the different stages at which communities will be making critical decisions on whether they think COP combined with a PPA is feasible and desirable, and the type of information and support for communities that is foreseen at each stage prior to making a key decision.
Community oil palm farm loan, the management arrangements, the forest protection and governance.
Frequently Asked Questions on Community Oil Palm Outgrower Scheme combined with Forest Protection: This illustrated booklet provides answers. to frequently asked questions on the community oil palm farm loan, the management arrangements, the forest protection and governance and decision making in the community. The Community Information Poster (outlining the community decision-making process before joining the Community Outgrower Program) accompanies the FAQ booklet.
Production protection approach on forest protection.
Fauna and Flora International (FFI) have developed a draft toolkit to guide the process of developing a forest protection plan. These plans allow communities to sustainable extract NTFP and FFI’s draft toolkit is scheduled for field testing in Grand Kru in the second half of 2017.
IDH also supported a master thesis student to work with the Forestry Development Authority to develop five case studies on community natural resource governance and benefit sharing of forest resources in Liberia. The report includes recommendations to the PPA and can be downloaded here.
Through the support of several initiatives, the outgrower model has been discussed and research in various formats.
In 2014, a two day workshop in Monrovia convened discussions on the SHARP partnership and the GROW initiative, producing an overview of the outgrower models that were explored for Liberia, as well as the workshop report.
In 2015, GROW commissioned a Community Needs Assessment study. Surveying over 190 communities, it provides a better understanding of the necessity and feasibility of various proposed outgrower models. Since then, Golden Veroleum has supported a thesis student conducting research on potential contract farming arrangements for Liberia, resulting in the following report.
Last year, in 2016, GROW contracted an international oil palm expert who presented recommendations for the program that were supported by involved companies. Further, the Community Needs Assessment study confirmed these recommendations as suitable. The outgrower model, feasibility review, operational plan, concept note and financial plan were subsequently developed by GROW with the support of IDH, followed by an endorsement of the Liberian cabinet in September 2017.
The outgrower model as it is proposed is largely determined by the commercial and operational realities of both concessionaires and potential outgrowers. Lacking technical capacity and experience in Liberian communities, investors and companies favor the “fully managed” model which sees community members involved as employees while land providers take a share of the business. The intention behind this arrangement is that it evolves over time to afford outgrowers greater responsibility and control as producers. This evolution would take place over three phases:
- Phase I: Company develops and manages land
- Phase II: Joint Company-Community management of land
- Phase III: Community fully manages land
Meanwhile, with the support of Norway, GoL and IDH, secured a guarantee fund and grants to raise investment capital for Liberian communities. The PPIF loan is conditional on a Production Protection Agreement, which stipulates that forests must be set aside for sustainable management and conservation. A multi-stakeholder workshop in April 2016 was facilitated to co-design the approach and developed a joint statement towards the first pilot in the workshop report.
The initiative’s Steering Committee (SC) was established in November 2016 and meets on a quarterly basis to provide high-level and strategic support. The Steering Committee (SC) plays an important coordinating role, given that the outgrower scheme requires the active participation of various government agencies, as well as private sector and civil society actors.
Its mandate contributes to the successful, scalable implementation of the Community Oil Palm Outgrower scheme.
The Steering Committee currently comprises of the following institutions and individuals:
- The Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority
- The Director General of the National Bureau of Concessions
- The Minister of Agriculture
- Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Ministry of Finance
- The Chairperson of the Land Commission (or when effective, Liberia Land Authority)
- The Chief of Party of IDH
- The VP Sustainability of Golden Veroleum Liberia
- The General Manager of Sime Darby Plantation Liberia
- The Director of Equatorial Palm Oil
- The Chairperson of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia
- The Country Director of GROW
- One or more representative(s) of communities participating in the COP out-grower’s scheme
- The Director of the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Steering Committee resources
- Investment proposal (contact IDH program manager)
- Summary and full document of the decision making process on community oil palm and production protection agreements
- Community Information Provision (community information poster and FAQs): For stakeholders to develop a common understanding of the community decision making process.
- Draft toolkit to develop a Forest Protection Plan in Liberia
- A Framework for Community Benefit Sharing Mechanisms Study and executive summary
- GROW Oil Palm Outgrower operational plan, financial model, concept note, and feasibility review
- IDH Oil Palm Outgrower and Forest Protection workshop report, Smallholder Productivity & Forest Protection presentation and the Community Outgrower and Protection workshop presentation
- Community Needs Assessment study: Commissioned by GROW to outline feasibility of outgrower models in 190 communities.
2012 and older