How is GVL ensuring food security inline with the Liberian Poverty Reduction Strategy?
GVL develops Oil Palm in alignment with the Liberian Poverty Reduction Strategy, including the food security component, which was launched by the Government with international development agencies support. The Poverty Reduction Strategy for rural areas emphasizes:
- Rapid creation of employment, which is our direct role
- Accessible markets for farm products where roads we build and the new purchasing power of our employees is a driving force
- Advice and help to modernize agricultural methods, which is the role of the Ministry of Agriculture extension and other actors, and where we also are participating with land planning and other assistance.
We want and need to be supporting communities in this transition from poverty-locked sustenance agriculture and hunting/gathering to prosperous farmers, craftsmen, entrepreneurs and employees.
Are there examples, from other parts of the world, where the Oil Palm industry have directly or indirectly helped to reduce poverty?
Yes, in Malaysia and Indonesia; if you look at the levels of rural poverty in Malaysia in 1970 the poverty figure was around 70 percent. During that time the Oil Palm industry began to grow and accordingly hired more workers in order to facilitate that growth, which led to (over time) a significant decrease in rural poverty. Today that figure is around 10 percent and is decreasing. From 1970 until now the Oil Palm industry there has also led to a proliferation of value added industries, which have also made major contributions to the poverty reduction. With a reduction of unemployment, increased education and stability, we feel the Malaysian is a good path for Liberia, and we feel that Liberia is on that path.