GVL is a strategic, profit-oriented long-term investor, whose founders and investors hold the deep belief that Oil Palm development can and should be carried out responsibly and sensitively. Such development will ensure opportunity for environmental conservation and prosperity for communities, while working collaboratively with key stakeholders and efficiently for investors, ensuring stability, sustainability and investment returns.
Why is Oil Palm Important to the Southeast?
Southeastern Liberia can be characterized as having the best soil and climactic conditions in Liberia for agriculture and Oil Palm, yet it is also considered the forgotten part of Liberia.
Currently, there is minimal economic activity in the Southeast region. Citizens have historically been dependent on finding income burning forests into charcoal to sell to towns, short-term jobs with the few logging companies that have been there from time-to-time, or following precarious subsistence existences with shifting agriculture and bushmeat hunting. Education and healthcare are scarce. The number of people living below the poverty line in the core of the Southeast is approximately 77% and adult literacy level is 42%, with only 28% amongst women.
The Liberian Government and many relief agencies and NGO’s are doing good work. But with limited national budget and the non-sustainable aid and campaign nature of relief and advocacy organizations, there is no well-founded basis for improvement. The peoples of the Southeast, the Kru, the Sapo, the Tajuasohn, the Grebo, are proud and sovereign peoples. In the new, free and democratic Liberia, they have expressed the wish to preserve their heritage and to develop, to achieve both.
Yet, with no livelihoods, and no education, and no prospects for the future, the active young people are forced to leave behind their homelands, more often than not ending in unskilled existence in the capital Monrovia. Southeastern Liberia needs the Oil Palm. Oil palm, when well managed, is a proven eradicator of poverty and bringer of rural prosperity. GVL aims to be a major contributor to poverty eradication, while building a profitable business.
As such, in 2009 and 2010 GVL consulted the Southeastern communities and the Liberian Government, and having been welcomed, in September 2010, by the Legislature of Liberia which ratified our concession agreement for development. The Government’s principal objectives were and remain urgent poverty reduction and economic transformation in the region through employment and stimulation of the local economies, and longer-term, for fiscal a share of economic profits and building value added industries in Liberia.