West Africa Initiative of Liberia (WAIOL)
West Africa Initiative of Liberia (WAIOL) promotes apiculture, snail raising, and the planting of multi-purpose tree species to improve the livelihood options of unemployed rural farmers. Local farmers are provided with training in all three livelihood activities and provided with a starter kit containing beehives, snail cages, basic carpentry tools, and moringa tree seedlings. From an initial starter kit, farmers generate an average of USD 3,500 per year. Participating individuals also have access to leadership training, guidance on small-business development, and a revolving microcredit fund which provides start-up capital. To date, training has been provided to more than 1,000 farmers, offering income generating alternatives to hunting and illegal logging. Improved incomes have been invested in education, health and community infrastructure needs. Regulated beekeeping and snail raising activities have reduced the risk and incidence of forest fires.
The initiative has also engaged in reforestation, planting Glaricidia, Acacia, Lucinia, and Moringa trees which fix nitrogen and reduce soil erosion. The group has established a business arm, Liberia Pure Honey and Moringa Promoters Incorporated, which promotes and purchases farmer products, negotiates for fair prices, and supports with packaging, sales and distribution to business centers across Liberia. More recently, WAIOL has begun a project that provides livelihood opportunities to Ivoirian refugees in Nimba County.
Equator Prize Winner: 2012
Location: Throughout Liberia
Beneficiaries: Over 600 rural men and women
Biodiversity: Reducing dependence on forest resources
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Equator Prize 2012
Ecoagriculture and Food Security
13th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia, Liberia
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