Alternative Agricultural Business models for Large-scale Private Investments in Sierra Leone | Land Portal
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Date of publication: 
August 2017
Resource Language: 

The report focuses on Sierra Leone (SL), which has placed a high priority on private sector investments over the last decade to support agricultural development. The country has experienced a significant increase of (mainly foreign) investments based on LSLAs, yet few of which are in an advanced stage. The study is based on several of palm oil and cocoa sector investment case studies. Both sectors are very relevant for SL’s economy and have seen several private sector investments. They are also interesting as they present some of the few examples of alternative business models, namely outgrower schemes and benefit-share agreements.

The analysis relies on qualitative individual and group interviews conducted in April 2017. Interviews were conducted with different stakeholders, some of whom were involved in or affected by these investments (e.g. company representatives, community members, traditional authorities, local government, and civil society). The main objective of the interviews was to elicit descriptive information about the functioning and development of the models and to identify potentials and challenges of the respective business models. The major limitation was that most of the investments were still at a very early stage, with none yet at full-scale of operation. In addition, the limited time and therefore small number of interviews in each investment case, allows drawing only limited conclusions about economic viability and expected effects of these investments. More in-depth multidisciplinary analysis would be therefore welcome.

The study is structured as follows. The next section provides a brief background to large-scale agricultural investments in SL. Section three presents the conceptual and empirical framework and approach, before the fourth and fifth section discuss the case study analyses. The sixth section summarizes the results of the case studies and the seventh provides some general conclusion and recommendations.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Raoul Herrmann


Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organisations in Germany, independent of politics and religion. It was established in 1962, as the German section of the "Freedom from Hunger Campaign", one of the world's first initiatives aimed at the eradication of hunger.

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