JPL: Transforming 'Waste' into Incomes and Job Opportunities

Mahmud Johnson

Country of deployment




What problem does your business address?

In Liberia, smallholder oil palm farmers lose 50% of expected yield, and waste ~ 220K tons of palm kernels annually. Farmers remain trapped in poverty due to lack of access to production technology.

What solution do you bring to this issue?

We operate mini oil palm mills in rural areas that increase oil palm yield by 50% and reduce processing time by 90%, increasing farmers' incomes by ~ 80%.

JPL manages and operates mini oil palm mills in partnership with rural communities. In lieu of the traditional labor-intensive and inefficient manual extraction technique, they use our machines to process palm oil. Our machines reduce processing time by 90% and increase extraction rates by 50%. As a result, the smallholder farmers with whom we work have seen their incomes increase by about 80%. We also purchase the palm kernels from smallholders, and process them into palm kernel oil to create a range of beauty products – including lotions, moisturizers and soaps. By creating a productive use for the palm kernels, we help smallholders further grow their incomes from trading a resource that was previously seen as waste. Finally, we have structured our distribution model to address the alarming rate of youth unemployment. We have recruited and trained more than 500 young Liberians to serve as our Field Sales Representatives. The average Sales Rep has 5 years of education and would be unlikely to find stable employment elsewhere in the economy. Through JPL, they are earning decent wages and benefits (including allowances for health and education). Some of our Reps are even using their incomes to send themselves to college or vocational school.

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