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Sierra Leone News: Goldtree intends to make positive Socio-Economic Impact in Salone

Goldtree, a palm oil based company in Sierra Leone intend to make tremendous impact in the socio-economic development.
Speaking with the General Manager of Goldtree, Pieter Van Dessel at a recently held Private Sector exhibition in Freetown, he explained that Goldtree is a commercial edible oil palm production business, located near Daru in the Kailahun District, Eastern Sierra Leone.
Adding that the company was incorporated in 2007 with a clear plan to rehabilitate, develop and expand an existing, but poorly functioning palm oil business.
However, the founders, Pan-African Agribusiness Limited, have been joined by two international finance institutions, African Agriculture Fund (AAF) and the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation (Finnfund) to carry out a project to build a new processing mill, to plant and maintain a nucleus plantation and to develop a system to support some 8,000 nearby oil palm farmers to grow, harvest and market their fruit.
Currently, fewer than 10% of employable people in the Kailahun District enjoy a cash income from formal employment.
He disclosed that higher production of fruit in oil palm smallholdings would also create employment opportunities in fieldwork and harvesting.
The company intends to upgrade feeder roads from oil palm smallholder areas to the main trunk road to Daru, in order to provide improved access in and out of the oil palm areas for rural communities, encouraging public transport through better road access.
He explained that with a 32% literacy rate, the Kailahun District suffers from a dire shortage of education and skills development. Goldtree will contribute positively to vocational skills development for employees and smallholders in many disciplines, including agriculture, engineering, business management and finance.
Increased cash flow in the local economy through the sale of fruit to the mill will benefit not only the rural oil palm communities but also those not directly connected with palm oil production through the growth of new commercial activity.
Thursday February 26, 2015

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