The Need for Local Job Creation

SMFG takes its role in the wider economic development of the region very seriously.

To address the needs and expectations of the surrounding community, SMFG seeks to catalyse broad, inclusive economic opportunities that can build on the presence of a significant industrial enterprise such as the Nimba Iron Ore Project.

Agriculture in Lola Prefecture: Potential and Constraints

By far the most accessible and greatest potential for employment and economic development in Lola Prefecture – and across the country – comes from agriculture, an observation made regularly by the President and his Government.

However, agriculture in Lola Prefecture is generally under-productive and focused on subsistence technologies. Most local farmers have poor access to improved varieties, reasonably priced credit and agricultural inputs like fertilizers, pesticides and machinery. Their ability to process, store, transport and market products is generally low. The poor returns on their investments – labour, land and purchased inputs – discourage them from investing. Farmers themselves are keenly aware of these obstacles and eager for progress.

Impact Agri and Agribusiness

Impact Agri and Agribusiness

SMFG is working with a partner, Impact Agri, to design and invest in agribusiness opportunities in Lola Prefecture. ImpactAgri specialises in developing large-scale, inclusive agribusinesses which deliver transformative social and environmental impact.

Its philosophy of working with the people and with the land, in harmony with the environment, but at a scale that is commercially sustainable, appeals to SMFG. It is new to Lola Prefecture.

A Core Farm that Trains and Works with Smallholder Farms

A Core Farm that Trains and Works with Smallholder Farms

ImpactAgri’s model of sustainable agriculture works through the creation of a commercially viable ‘core-farm’, where local farmers are trained in improved varieties, inputs and techniques from land management to sowing to harvesting.

They then take these skills and inputs to their own farms. This creates a multiplier effect: the core farm will create local jobs for full-time labourers, seasonal harvesting labourers, managers and processing staff. The core farm then catalyses employment and income for a larger number of smallholder farmers, who become micro-enterprises in their own right.

ImpactAgri seeks to design and implement several full value-chain agribusinesses that address both job creation and local food production. The businesses will generate high-value crops for export and biofuels, and support land uses compatible with the Nimba Mountains Biosphere Reserve.

This initiative will be informed by the Regional Development Planning Study.