An agrarian revolution is unfolding in Sierra Leone, but it is not driven by the country’s farmers. It is estimated that since 2009 more than a fifth of the country’s arable land has been leased to mostly foreign companies for industrial-scale agriculture
This study examined the social, economic, nutritional, health and environmental costs and benefits to communities and individual households in and around lease areas of three large agricultural investors:• Addax Bioenergy (SL) Limited, lease of 44,000hectares, sugarcane for ethanol, Tonkolili and Bombali districts• Sierra Leone Agriculture Limited (SLA), lease of41,582 hectares, oil palm, Port Loko District• Socfin Agricultural Company (SL) Limited (SAC),lease of 16,248.54 acres or 6,500 hectares, oil palm, Pujehun District. 3There has been a tendency among proponents of large-scale farmland investments to overlook the full range of resources that rural communities lose when they sign away their land. Investors and the government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) appear not to fully appreciate the value to rural communities of agro-biodiversity and local biodiverse resources found on and around rural farms, the importance of fish, bush meat (game), domestic livestock and poultry, or the wealth of plant genetic resources on which farm families – especially women – depend.
Green Scenery 31/12/13