Sierra Leone - Context and Land Governance | Land Portal
Sierre Leone agriculture photo by WorldFish



Land is an essential source of livelihood for a majority of Sierra Leoneans. Most of Sierra Leone’s population lives in rural areas and it’s GDP is largely based on agriculture [1]. The three main livelihood activities surveyed in the 2015 population and housing census are crop farming, animal husbandry and fishery, which depend largely on access to and ownership of land [2]. Smallholders mostly cultivate rice, cassava, cocoa, coffee, cashew, groundnut, palm oil, vegetables and other fruit trees.

Research reports indicate that 4.3 million hectares (70%) of all arable land is characterized by low fertility as result of slash and burn, deforestation and erosion taking place in shifting cultivation farming [3]. In addition to the arable land under cultivation, about 457,000 hectares of land areas are under protection with limited or no access [4].

Historically, the country’s land tenure system has developed twofold: The freehold tenure system governed by General Law (English Common Law and Statutory Law) in the Western Area, including the capital Freetown, which allows land sales and leases; and the customary tenure system governed by customary law, and partly general law, in the Provinces. In the aftermath of the decade-long civil war (1991-2002), Sierra Leone has attracted quite a number of investors. In so doing, mining, as well as large-scale farming operations have been set up all over the country. While Sierra Leone has a history of mostly state agricultural land investments, Chinese, Turkish, and Saudi Arabian investments have recently picked up in the agricultural sector.

Most current land-related challenges are related to large-scale projects that are supposed to spur rural development. Primarily, these conflicts are related to a lack of transparency and consent regarding land transfer, corruption, environmental issues and erroneous surveys, and, in some cases, the individual agendas of paramount chiefs. Another conflict line runs between land-using and land-holding families in the chieftaincies and related power disparities. Notably, women and youth remain excluded from land tenure decision-making process and have little say in shaping land investments.

 

Total spending for agricultural reserch measured measured as a share of the value added from agriculture, forestry and fishing activities

Measurement unit: 
Percentage (%)

Distribution of agricultural holders by sex (female - Share %) according to the FAO Land and Gender Database.

Measurement unit: 
Percentage (%)

GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP). PPP GDP is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates.

Measurement unit: 
PPP$ 2011

Land area is the total area (1'000 Ha) of the country excluding area under inland water bodies.

Measurement unit: 
1'000 ha

Total funding (US $) for programmes still ongoing. Last updated on the 31st of January, 2019.

Measurement unit: 
US$ (Current)

Total number of programmes still ongoing. Last updated on the 31st of January, 2019.

Measurement unit: 
Number

Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

Measurement unit: 
Number

Rural population refers to the share (%) of people living in rural areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated as the ratio between Urban Population and Total Population.

Measurement unit: 
Percentage (%)
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Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

Measurement unit: 
Number
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Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

Measurement unit: 
Number
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Arable land (1'000 Ha) is the land under temporary agricultural crops (multiple-cropped areas are counted only once), temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens

Measurement unit: 
1'000 ha

It measures the area (1'000 Ha) covered by forest.

Measurement unit: 
1'000 ha

Land area is the total area (1'000 Ha) of the country excluding area under inland water bodies.

Measurement unit: 
1'000 ha

Land used permanently (five years or more) to grow herbaceous forage crops through cultivation or naturally (wild prairie or grazing land).

Measurement unit: 
1'000 ha

Land cultivated with long-term crops which do not have to be replanted for several years (such as cocoa and coffee), land under trees and shrubs producing flowers (such as roses and jasmine), and n

Measurement unit: 
1'000 Ha

Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parties indicated as the data source or as the data provider. The Land Portal team is constantly working to ensure the highest possible standard of data quality and accuracy, yet the data is by its nature approximate and will contain some inaccuracies. The data may contain errors introduced by the data provider(s) and/or by the Land Portal team. In addition, this page allows you to compare data from different sources, but not all indicators are necessarily statistically comparable. The Land Portal Foundation (A) expressly disclaims the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and (B) shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither the Land Portal Foundation nor any of its data providers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the data provided herein.

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