MONROVIA, Montserrado – Agnes Gardia, a farmer in Montserrado, believes that existing laws on land ownership put farmers at a disadvantage because they have no regard for community ownership of land.
“Recently, while carrying out my farming works, the land I am gardening on was sold to another person by a member of a family claiming ownership. The new owner has asked me to remove my crops because he is ready to carry out his construction works,” she said. “Where then do I go, and how possible is it to relocate my crops when it’s not even ready for harvest?”
The constitution was approved by 95% of voters in a national referendum.
This synthesis of our findings from an investigation of tenure risk in East, West, and Southern Africa, shows that a majority of tenure disputes are caused by the displacement of local peoples, indicating that companies and investors are not doing enough to understand competing claims to the land they acquire or lease. This failure in diligence is particularly noteworthy given that a majority of the disputes analyzed had materially significant impacts: indeed, a higher proportion of projects in Africa are financially impacted by tenure dispute than any other region in the world.
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.