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Publication | 11 May 2021

Strengthening the enabling environment for responsible investment in agriculture and food systems: Evidence from Sierra Leone

This report presents the findings of a participatory baseline assessment on esponsible investmentin agriculture and food systems (RAI) in Sierra Leone. While the assessmentwas specifically focused on identifying current factors that would enable current factors that would enableRAI in Sierra Leone, it recognises thatthis assessment(RAI)is complementary to a country land governance and agricultural investment assessment currently underway. It also recognises that this assessment builds on FAO’s on-going technical support to Sierra Leone, “Safeguarding Land Tenure Rights in the Context of Agricultural Investment” and on national food security and food systems. Given this background, 55 stakeholders, some of whom have had previous engagement in the process, were purposively selected to participate in the assessment either as key informants (KIs) or focus group discussants (FGDs). In Freetown, 14 government stakeholders, across strategic national and regulatory institutions and two private sector agriculture suppliers (seeds, fertilizer and tools), were interviewed. A combined total of 30 community members, including landowners, family/ smallholder farmers (both within and outside agricultural concessions but within the districts for triangulation purposes), participated in focus group discussions in Tonkolili, Bo and Kenema. The four agriculture investors (Miro, Sierra Tropical, Lizard Earth and Goldtree) were separately interviewed and finally, six low-level investor workers provided information regarding their work experiences with the companies. It should be noted that the four agricultural investors are testing the applicability of the ‘Agribusiness Investment Approval Process (AIAP)”, the new agribusiness approval process for Sierra Leone with the aim to explore and support capacity enhancement of communities, investors and government institutions responsible for agriculture, land, environment and investment. The AIAP pilot process also involves the contribution and participation of other key stakeholders including both government and civil society organizations through a technical working group (TWG) mechanism. The TWG members include FAO, Welthungerhilfe (WHH), Ministry of Lands, Housing and the Environment (MLHE), Ministry ofAgriculture and Forestry (MAF), Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Solidaridad, Transparency International, Human Rights Commission of SL, Green Scenery, Namati, Network Movement for Justice and Development (NMJD). Local authorities, decentralized governance structures at district level, academic and professional partners also play crucial roles.

Strengthening the enabling environment for responsible investment in agriculture and food systems: Evidence from Sierra Leone
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