In Liberia, palm trees grow naturally everywhere – like grass!
However, more than 90% of smallholders live on less than $1.25 a day. Due to lack of access to processing technology, farmers have to manually squeeze out the palm oil. This inefficiency results in 35% of palm fruit going unharvested every year, and 50% lower oil yield. Additionally, farmers waste almost all of the oilseeds (palm kernels) because there are no buyers.
We operate mini mobile palm oil mills in very remote villages. Farmers use our machines in exchange for 10-15% of the oils produced. Our machines reduce processing time by 90% and increase extraction rates by 50%. Furthermore, we purchase the palm kernels from the farmers, creating a market for a previously wasted resource. As a result, over 500 farmers with whom we currently work have seen their incomes increase by 264%.
We use the kernels to create a range of natural beauty products under our “Kernel Fresh” brand, which we distribute in retail and online.