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WHO IS BENEFITING ? The social and economic impact of three large-scale land investment in Sierra Leone: A cost-benefit analysis

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. 

UNDERSTANDING LAND INVESTMENT DEALS IN AFRICA COUNTRY REPORT: SIERRA LEONE

ABOUT THIS REPORT
This report is part of the Oakland Institute’s (OI) seven-country case study project to document and examine
land investment deals in Africa (Ethiopia, Mali, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zambia) in
order to determine social, economic, and environmental implications of land acquisitions in the developing
world.
The research team conducted a thorough examination of the actual agreements and the extent and distribution

UNDERSTANDING LAND INVESTMENT DEALS IN AFRICA SOCFIN LAND INVESTMENT IN SIERRA LEONE

Grievances Against Socfin in Sierra Leone
The land leased by Socfin includes between 27 and 30
villages and about 120 land-owning families.
 Upon signing
the lease in March 2011, Socfin agreed to full payments of
compensation for the loss of existing plantations and farms
in areas of operation, in addition to an annual payment of 
11
lease rents to land owners. Socfin’s General Manager, Gerben 

Study on Rural and Agricultural Finance in Sierra Leone

This study has been commissioned by the Bank of Sierra Leone and the German Ministry of 
Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in the context of the German support for
financial sector development in Sierra Leone.  The German interventions are jointly
implemented by GIZ, the German technical cooperation, and the German development bank
KfW.  In providing financial sector development support, the German Development Cooperation
closely collaborates with the World Bank and the IMF, specifically in regards to prudential

Land access constraints for communities affected by large-scale land acquisition in Southern Sierra Leone

While national figures of land availability are used to justify accepting large-scale land investors, not very much is known about the local level realities of land availability. By combining remotely sensed data with fieldwork, system dynamics modelling and qualitative research methods, we examine local level realities of land use and availability in the Malen Chiefdom of Southern Sierra Leone. Here, local communities are experiencing the outcomes of large-scale investments in oil palmfor biodiesel and other industrial purposes by the SOCFIN Agricultural Company.

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