SOCFIN AGRICULTURAL COMPANY - RSPO Certified
Socfin Agricultural Company Sierra Leone Ltd is situated in the south eastern part of the country in the Malen Chiefdom in Pujehun District and is part of the Socfin Group who has other agricultural operations in Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo, Sao Tome and Indonesia. Socfin began operations in Sierra Leone in 2011 and has since established 12,342 hectares of oil palm plantation and infrastructure, investing US$170 million to date.
In 2021 Socfin completed the extension of the processing mill from a 30 t/hr to a 60 t/hr capacity at a cost of $13.2 million. In 2021 Socfin produced 222,487 MT of Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) up from the 144,445 MT in 2020. In 2021 Socfin produced 52,307MT of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) up from 30,748 MT in 2020 and 7,182MT of Palm kernel in 2021 up from 4,546MT in 2020. In 2021 89% of the palm oil was sold to the two Sierra Leonean refineries making cooking oil, margarine and soap whilst 93,000 liters was sold at a subsidized price to the Malen Chiefdom people to benefit affordable oil to consume. Some 7,452MT of CPO was exported in 2021.
Socfin employs over 4,100 people and is one of the largest private employers in Sierra Leone. Additionally Socfin has 18 Agricultural contractors carrying out plantation activities which employs an additional 900 people and over 60 truck transport contractors to transport the fruit to the Industrial Mill.
In 2017 the plantation obtained ISO 14001 certification and in January 2022 obtained RSPO certification. Socfin has a robust Environmental Management System (EMS) and the Company values, respects and protects Environmental High Conservation Value Areas , Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to lease community land and protection of worker rights and safety.
Socfin has a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program which provides local communities within the concession area and district necessary amenities including the building of 5 new schools, refurbishing schools, provision of scholarships, rehabilitation of teachers living quarters, over a 300 million Leone micro finance portfolio, new water wells, repair to existing wells, annual mechanical cultivation of 600 acres for low land rice and 800 acres of IVS, provision of seeds, fish ponds, building of community meeting halls and public toilets, 24 hour power and water to Sahn clinic, solar electrification of 3 PHU’s, repair of roads, building and financial support to pay all running costs of the community radio station, support to the local District Council, providing over 90,000 liters of subsidized palm oil to Malen Chiefdom residents. Chiefdom Administration and police assistance for vehicle repairs and fuel, payment of local chiefdom tax for communities amounting to over 125 million Leones and many other interventions. Socfin continues to be is a leader in agricultural development in Sierra Leone.
Established in 2009, Miro is a commercial forestry and timber products group operating in West Africa. We operate in Ghana and Sierra Leone and are focused on the production of plywood for the construction market (both regional and overseas), transmission poles for electrification and edge glue panels.
We operate over 17,000 ha of sustainable plantations (over 20 million trees) consisting of principally Eucalyptus, Acacia, Gmelina and Teak specie, and are expanding our plantations at a rate of 1,500 to 3,000ha per annum. We have been the largest developer of new plantations in Africa for the last few years.
As our wood-flows continue to mature and increase we are investing into industrial wood processing operations with a focus on plywood production for the local and export markets. We are focused on maintaining and expanding quality forest plantations to deliver log volumes at globally competitive cost, and to efficiently process these into finished timber products (principally plywood) to generate consistent revenues at sustainable margins.
Across the group we employ a team of approximately 2,000 people. Miro operates to high environmental and social governance standards and we are Forestry Stewardship Council (FSCTM) certified.
Our strategy is to continue expanding and developing profitable industrial wood processing operations to meet increasing wood-flows over the next few years prior to seeking a trade sale or IPO after 2025.
EDGE GLUE PANELS – SIERRA LEONE
Given the site conditions in Sierra Leone and high rainfall, Miro has significant hectares of Acacia mangium timber. This timber is suitable for plywood but also particularly in demand for Edge Glue Panels (EGP). Miro currently has a simple factory in Sierra Leone with an installed output capacity of 5m3 of EGP per day. This factory built originally with minimal capex of c.US$150,000 is now being developed into a more significant factory environment with concrete work and the addition of certain equipment to ease pinch-points. In addition, a stronger management team has been recruited into the business unit.
Miro has proven production of quality, export grade, EGP panels from this factory, with such panels exported to Interbuild (www.interbuild.eu) a global wholesaler of EGP and furniture products. Now with the factory upgrade of physical infrastructure and management, we are targeting to increase production over the next 12-18 months to 200m3/month of export quality panels, on a double shift operating basis.
Subject to the performance of this vs. plywood production in Ghana, the precise expansion of industrial timber product operations in Sierra Leone will be decided (the proportion of plywood production vs.
EGP) to meet the increasing wood-flows from the plantation.
TREATED POLES – SIERRA LEONE
We have now completed the commissioning of a pole treatment plant and associated drying kilns in Sierra Leone. This plant is capable of producing 50,000 treated electricity transmission poles per annum, CCA treated. We have therefore started to produce some standard pole lengths into stock, and to advertise our presence as the only domestic producer of treated electricity poles. We have a number of orders in the pipeline for poles, for the domestic energy grid, and therefore do expect sales to commence soon.
SUNBIRD BIOENERGY (SL) LTD. (SBSL), [formerly known as Addax Bioenergy (SL) Ltd.], is a unique agro-industrial, renewable and sustainable energy project, located in Bombali district of Makeni, in Sierra Leone. It comprises of an estate admeasuring 23,500 hectares, with the primary focus on sugarcane and cassava plantations. Boasting of world-class infrastructural facilities (including 400 Kms of internal roads, 17 Kms of 160 KV power evacuation line to the national grid through 40 pylons, 150 centre pivots irrigation system, 6 water pumping stations, 14 booster stations, state-of-the-art water purification R.O. system, housing, and the like); along with a twin boiler operated 32 MW Biomass Power Plant, supplying power to the national grid; and a 380,000 Litres per day Bio-Ethanol Plant, capable of producing diverse use ethanol types, including fuel-grade ethanol; this multi-million dollar project can truly be construed as ‘Pride of the Nation’.
SBSL has embarked upon an aggressive programme of sugarcane cultivation in the 2018-19 season. From the existing 2,000 hectares (Ha) under sugarcane, at present, the area is being exponentially increased to 6,000 Ha; with plans to add another 4,000 to 5,000 Ha in the seasons thereafter. Besides providing increased employment opportunities, this will not only provide more bagasse biomass for consistent and increased power production but also more syrup for ethanol and sugar, going forward.
From its earlier days of dependence on a single source (sugarcane), single product (fuel-grade ethanol), and a single market (Europe); the current emphasis is to transcend and leap-frog SBSL, by 2020-21, into a multi-source (different varieties of sugarcane, elephant grass, hybrid Napier grass brought from overseas for cultivation, different varieties of cassava, other multiple crops like ginger, turmeric, sesame, etc.), multi-product (power generation using multiple bio-feedstock, ethanol, sugar, native starch, ENA), and a multi-market (domestic, ECOWAS, Europe – having both locational and European import duty advantages) entity, thereby not only facilitating large scale Import Substitution but also generating increased Export Earnings for the country.
SBSL continuously employs over 350 persons. For 6 to 8 months in a year, the numbers go up to between 5,000 and 8,000 during the harvesting/dry season, creating employment opportunities to direct and indirect seasonal workers; with a further increase to 10,000 or more on the anvil, owing to the increased hectarage under cultivation, as envisaged. This has a positive cascading effect of feeding nearly 80,000 to 100,000 mouths!
Besides the envisioned employment opportunities to such high numbers as indicated earlier, and being able to put cash into people’s pockets for harvesting and selling (instead of burning) their grass, the company has been creating a huge GDP Multiplier effect and additionally, undertaking, inter alia, the following:
FDP (Farmers’ Development Programme) providing support for inputs like land preparation, seed, etc. and FDS (Farmers’ Development Service) which entails hiring out agricultural equipment, as and when available, at cost, to communities of all the 53 villages falling under the company’s land jurisdiction; providing Boreholes, Clinic and Toilets, in certain blocks; laying out Road network and constructing Community Buildings in certain blocks; providing Classroom and School furniture to Lungi Acre School; providing on-the-job training and mentoring, up skilling and teaching modern methods of agriculture and machine/equipment maintenance and management to the community people; in addition to encouraging out growers’ program for engendering self-confidence
Constantly communicating with the Chiefs and community people through formal and informal meetings and more particularly, the monthly Village Liaison Cluster Meetings.
Engaging in continuous dialogue and propagating the environmental hazards and negative impact of burning grass (which results detrimentally in increasing the carbon footprint), lack of adherence to proper sanitation practices, and the like. Creating awareness of the modern day taboos and harmful effects of ‘in-vogue’ but undesirable habits e.g. smoking and use of allotropic drugs/substance abuse. Hosting of social events like football tournaments and allowing the use of beaches for social gatherings
Routinely carrying out water sprinkling during the dry months, on estate roads, to mitigate the effect of dust pollution
Uplifting and enhancing the overall quality of life, commensurate with the general development of the entire area, causing a positive rub-off effect to other areas in the vicinity.
The mission of African Seed Company is ‘planting the seeds of the future’ – breeding high-yielding, stress-tolerant varieties of sorghum and soya, customised for local conditions. African Seed Company’s team has been involved in Sierra Leonean agriculture since 2008 and has identified the lack of availability of locally bred / locally produced seeds as the fundamental impediment to economically sustainable farming.
African Seed Company has established the first certified seed production in Sierra Leone. Irrigated fields allow for year-round breeding and seed production. Seed grading equipment and a climate-controlled storage facility guarantee the purity and germination rate of the seeds that are supplied to farmers.
Growing sorghum, soya and rice in rotation helps farmer to enhance their soil fertility and contributes to a sustainable circular farming system. This makes farmers less vulnerable for fluctuations in market demand, it contributes to local sourcing and food security and reduces farmers’ exposure to climate change risks.
Goldtree is located near Daru in Kailahun District in Sierra Leone’s Eastern Province. Incorporated in 2007, Goldtree has succeeded in rehabilitating an abandoned palm oil mill and plantation as well as reviving the oil palm industry in the province. Apart from Goldtree’s own nucleus plantation, the business invests in local enterprises by purchasing fresh fruit bunches (FFB) from outgrower farmers within a 40 km radius of the mill. This supports thousands of families in the rural community and ensures that they receive a fair price for their product.
The mill processes the fresh fruit bunches into crude palm oil (CPO), and palm kernel oil (PKO). The rapid transition from a defunct mill to an operational plant was made possible with the support and assistance of three investment sources – the African Agriculture Fund (AAF), the Goldtree founder (Pan-African Agribusiness Limited) and the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation (Finnfund). The investment has funded a nursery for improved hybrid seedlings, a new mill, workshops, offices, housing, vehicles and equipment, and working capital for ongoing operations.
SIERRA TROPICAL LTD
Sierra Tropical Ltd, part of the well-known international food company DOLE, is in the process of setting up and establishing a large pineapple plantation and later, a processing facility, to manufacture pineapple fruit juice, concentrate and various canned goods for export.
The farm and processing facility will be situated in the Bo district, close to the village of Sumbuya. The first phase of establishing a 4300ha plantation started in October and the planting of the first plants will begin in January 2018. To handle the fruit from the plantation, a processing plant will be built and begin production during 2021. A 40ha nursery has already been established to provide planting materials for the new farm at Sumbuya and to run tests to ensure our pineapples were well suited to Sierra Leone conditions.
The production of pineapples is a labour-intensive operation. As the plantation grows and the cannery is established, Sierra Tropical Ltd will create some 4000 jobs in both the field and cannery. There will be many skilled jobs created in support, which will lead to training opportunities to allow us to train and qualify Sierra Leoneans to fill the various positions.
Sierra Tropical Ltd will require different fruit for their products which will include Papaya and Mango. This will present additional opportunities for Sierra Leonean farmers to grow and supply fruit for our products.
We are working closely with the various communities and Tribal authorities around the new plantation, with regard employment, community development initiatives and environmental issues to ensure harmonious relationships and sustainable development to the benefit of everyone involved.
Bengal Agro (SL) limited is a 100% Organic Commercial Agriculture Company established in Sierra Leone for production, processing (value addition) and marketing of ginger, turmeric and other gricultural products.
To create employment for the citizens, especially youths of the country.
To improve the livelihood of small holder farm families through income generating activities.
Conserve much needed foreign exchange through export of the products.
Help in complementing government’s efforts in its national food security programs.
Establish Agricultural infrastructure for training of small farmers on commercial agriculture and modern farming techniques to increase yields.
The project is situated near Lunsar in the Port Loko district, Northern Province of the country has been selected as the main operational site for the production and processing (value addition) of these crops. The Company is certified by Eco cert USA as an Organic and non GMO products. Bengal Agro (SL) limited has at present 1680 acres (680 hectares) of land for production, processing, storage, piloting and demonstration plots for its own.
Modern agriculture methods and techniques have been implemented to develop the soil fertility as well as to increase production. The company intends to install its own processing factory for the food crops processing in Sierra Leone.