Smallholder Oil Palm Support (SHOPS) II
The Smallholder Oil Palm Support (SHOPS) II project was a three-year, USAID-funded program that built on the success of its predecessor project, SHOPS. ACDI/VOCA and partner Winrock International worked to strengthen the palm oil value chain and stimulate rural economic growth through project implementation by increasing incomes among smallholder oil palm producers, processors, and small oil palm enterprises in six Liberian counties, while reducing deforestation resulting from smallholder oil palm expansion.
- Increase smallholder oil palm sector productivity and profitability
- Improve smallholder oil palm sector marketing and trade capacity
- Improve smallholder oil palm sector business enabling environment and support functions
- Improve integration of best practices in natural resources management, environmental responsibility, and biodiversity conservation in the smallholder oil palm sector
Activities and Approaches
- Promoted the transition to the use of improved seedlings
- Provided technical trainings to existing and new palm oil manufacturers
- Developed and facilitated the use of new dura oil palm processing technology
- Conducted market assessments for palm oil and disseminate information to stakeholders
- Supported sustainable, environmentally sound land use planning and expansion strategies
- Facilitated links between oil palm farmers and financial institutions
Anticipated/Achieved Project Results
- Nursery Development–SHOPS II worked with 41 nurseries to raise 29,000 improved hybrid oil palm seedlings. As a result, smallholder farmers increased access to improved varieties in their communities, resulting in lower plant mortality and higher yields.
- Freedom Mill Manufacturing and Sales–Using the oil palm extracting Freedom Mill design, developed by SHOPS I, SHOPS II trained manufacturers to build and sell the improved efficiency mills in oil palm producing communities. During SHOPS II, project-supported manufacturers sold Freedom Mills and other oil palm processing machines to 213 community associations and service providers. The manufacturers met and shared lessons learned at SHOPS II-facilitated manufacturer-to-manufacturer exchanges.
- Business Management and Marketing Training–More than 1,000 oil palm processors, equipment manufacturers, traders, farmer group members, and nursery operators received SHOPS II business management training. Enterprises received support to develop their business strategies and to become better partners in the oil palm sector.
- Access to Finance–Through training and facilitated meetings, SHOPS II helped bridge the gap between financial institutions with limited experience in agricultural lending and agricultural enterprises poised to grow.
- Natural Resource Management–SHOPS II conducted participatory workshops for 30 individuals in vulnerable forest areas in Bong, Nimba, and Lofa counties. These workshops facilitated a community dialogue about the roles and responsibilities involved in biodiversity conservation and the prevention of land degradation. Participants created robust community action plans and formed community action groups to monitor deforestation and natural resource management in their communities.