Enhancing food security around our plantations
One of the main areas is in helping communities to become farmers producing a range of quality foods that they can sell and help to reduce Gabon’s reliance on food imports. We initially established a support programme for food production around our plantation sites. We started with the village at Nsilé as it has its own irrigation system. It was then extended to 7 villages around the Awala plantation. If the model proves successful, we will replicate it by forming cooperatives. Today, 250 volunteers are divided into 31 farming groups, each responsible for a plantation, ranging from bananas, cassava, mangos, avocados or atangas. Olam’s technical experts help them to prepare the land and train them on the best farming practices such the safe and appropriate use of pesticides.
In addition, we started a programme in partnership with IGAD (Institut gabonais d’aide au développement) which aims to contribute significantly in improving food security around Mouila, by providing a reliable, sustained income to villagers who are unable to work in Olam’s plantations. Processing equipment and machines for cassava are donated to small-scale farmers and training is provided on how to use them profitably.