Mountain Lion Agriculture
Mountain Lion Agriculture is a rice processing company in Sierra Leone that operates a rice processing mill (par boil, dry, mill, package) facility, a 100-hectare seed and grain rice farm.
Mountain Lion Agriculture (MLA) Ltd. is the largest rice miller in Sierra Leone and has the only local rice brand in the country. Sierra Leone currently imports most its rice, presenting an import substitution opportunity for Mountain Lion to mill high-quality, competitively priced domestic rice. The company is owned by several local and Canadian shareholders.
Mountain Lion currently has over 20 employees and over 100 seasonal staff. The company processes rice from over 500 smallholder farmers in Sierra Leone.
With MEDA’s help, Mountain Lion has created a positive impact in various ways:
- Access to goods and services: Since inception in 2010, 87,500 local consumers have benefitted from Mountain Lion’s rice, a product improved by parboiling, a process that enriches the entire grain with the nutrients of the husk and skin. The final product contains levels of protein, calcium, iron and Vitamin A and C that are significantly higher than the lower quality imported brown or white rice
- High quality jobs: Staff earn 1.5 times more than the average local wage and receive benefits such as comprehensive health care and a pension plan with contributions equally split between employer and employee
- Governance and management: Strong independent board including Canadian, American and Sierra Leonean business leaders who meet on a monthly basis. Feedback from smallholder farmers has been integrated through an innovative, cloud-based farmer data-tracker and annual meetings
- Innovation: Increased mechanisation and loans provided by Mountain Lion allowed smallholder farmers to increase their land use from two to five acres and their revenues have grown on average by 250%.
Company update at June 30, 2015
Mountain Lion currently supports 2,500 smallholder rice farmers through training, seed distribution, equipment rental and access to market. In 2014, Mountain Lion increased its processing capacity four-fold, becoming a leading, modern rice-mill in Sierra Leone. They established a community centre and allowed a greater number of children to attend school. As part of its CSR program, the company delivered 2,550 bags of rice to families quarantined during the Ebola crisis.