Fall 2021

Program in focus A closer look at Creative’s work in action

Liberia USAID West Africa Trade & Investment Hub

“We don’t get to hear the story of smallholder farmers who are already growing [palm] on their land.”

- Mahmud Johnson, Founder and CEO of the Liberian palm oil company J-Palm

Mahmud Johnson envisions a new model that improves smallholder farmers’ livelihoods without impoverishing the land. By harvesting wild palm, which is native to West Africa, and processing it on a small scale, farmers can earn more and become part of the global trade network. Made possible through a co-investment grant of $1.1 million by the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub, Johnson’s J-Palm has brought Led by U.S.-based Pacha Soap Co., the co- investment partnership will allow the palm oil companies to create more than 6,000 new jobs, upgrade processing facilities and transition to more valuable organic palm oil. Pacha and J-Palm are joined by 8 Degrees North, a Ghanaian organic palm oil company. Funded by the USAID, the Trade Hub deploys grants to leverage private investment that creates jobs and promotes inclusive, sustainable growth in the region. In two years, it has made more than 50 co-investment grants that will catalyze in excess of $400 million in private capital. n together partners dedicated to growing the palm oil industry in ways that benefit smallholders.

A co-investment grant from the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub will support smallholder farmers and create more than 6,000 new jobs.

Photo by John Healy

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