Students from the University of Liberia during a field visit. The Malaysian Sime Darby company has awarded a 220,000 hectare concession.
Photo: R. Buntzel

11.06.2013

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Liberia’s government seeks to put greater emphasis on integrated cash/food crop systems with broad-based farmer participation. However, shortcomings in regulations on land transactions could threaten livelihoods in what is already a vulnerable country.

About 40 per cent of the land in Liberia is now under concessions with companies for producing rubber, palm oil, timber or minerals for exports, most of them foreign-owned corporations with Liberian affiliations. At the same time Liberia being an agrarian society as it is, the country is extremely dependent upon food imports: about 50 per cent of daily calories and 60 per cent of protein intake is imported, according to a UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimate. Liberia’s food sector has not yet recovered from 15 years of civil war

The Government of Liberia (GoL) is well aware of this contradiction. That is why it is determined to achieve a transformation of its agricultural sector – defined as follows: “… the conversion of a system characterised by an economically concentrated commercial plantation sector to one in which there is broad-based farmer participation in integrated cash crop/food crop systems.

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