Sierra Leone | Mountain Lion Agriculture
Mountain Lion Agriculture (MLAg) is co-owned and co-managed by an experienced Sierra Leonean commercial farmer and a Venture Capital fund, SL Development Financing Ltd., from Canada. This unique partnership provides MLAg with a depth of local and international expertise (in local farming practices, small-medium scale agriculture, research, business, ethics and economics) unmatched by any other rice producers in the country.
MLAg is a rice processing business operating throughout the entire rice value chain, profiting by providing small rice farmers what they need to grow, and then buying/processing what they produce. Input sales, seed loans, machine rental/sales, a 250 acre research farm and a mill, all launched in early 2010 are today operating profitably. These multiple elements give the business a unique "ecosystem" approach which allows it provide farmer financing in return for paddy, and creates multiple, resilient revenue streams. The company's ultimate goal is to become SL's first nationally produced brand of local rice.
MEDA – Mountain Lion Engagement
Mountain Lion Agriculture signed a cooperation agreement with MEDA aimed at advancing MLA's interests in Sierra Leone. MEDA will deliver expertise in market-driven, small farmer out-grower crop production and output consolidation systems and value chain development.
During the length of this project, MEDA will provide technical services to assist Mountain Lion Agriculture with the following initiatives:
- Refine, strengthen and expand the small-farmer rice out-grower production and associated small-farmer training and extension support arrangements
- Optimize small farmer rice crop production and business models leading to improved yields, higher quality rice product, effective soil health stewardship, minimized post-harvest crop loss and improved small farmer profitability
- Identify and implement an appropriate legal/institutional arrangement that establishes an equity ownership participation mechanism in MLA-SL Limited for participating local small farmers
- Asset MLA to design, create, prototype, deploy and implement software applications to support its business operations and processes
- Assist MLA to refine other aspects of its business plan and strategy including:
- new rice varieties:
- scaling up / replicating rice milling operations,
- technology transfer; linkage to national rice breeder/foundation seed sources;
- application of information and communication technology (ICT) solutions
Project Quick Facts
Goal: Through its consultative role, MEDA will assist Mountain Lion Agriculture achieve their goal of to profitably displace lower quality rice imports in Sierra Leone with a higher quality, competitively priced domestic brand that benefits local people in Sierra Leone.
Reaching: 5,000 small holder farmers, connecting them with MLA and markets
Funding: African Enterprise Challenge Grant, MEDA Sarona Risk Capital Fund Investment
Project length: May 2013- April 2016