Through ArcelorMittal’s Support: 12 Farmers Granted Traditional Farming Land Deeds In Nimba

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A dozen farmers in Yarmein Administrative District, Nimba County, have been presented with public land sale deeds in acknowledgement of their traditional land ownership.

   The Liberia Land Authority (LLA), in collaboration with ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML), presented the public sale deeds to 12 farmers who live in Gbapa and Zolowee towns.

   Held at the Gbapa Town Hall on Friday, June 10, 2022, the program brought together high-profile delegates from ArcelorMittal Liberia, Liberia Land Authority as well as many farmers.

   Giving the objective of the process, the Oversight Commissioner of LLA for Nimba, Bong and Lofa counties, Cllr. Kula L. Jackson, said that the occasion was intended to legalize the people’s land ownership, considering how cardinal the land sector is to sustaining Liberia’s peace.   Presenting the 12 deeds to the farmers at the ceremony, the National Chairman of the Liberia Land Authority, Cllr. J. Adam Manobah, described the process as the Liberian government’s own way of upholding the “Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD)”.

   According to Cllr. Manobah, the process will also positively contribute to the farmers’ economic status as they legally get into leasing agreement and partnership with AML.

   The LLA boss indicated that considering the many conflicts coming from the land sector in the country, the government, through his leadership, is handling every land matter with care and consciousness.

   Cllr. Manobah informed the gathering that if the land sector and issues arising from the communities are not handled with high level of care, Liberia’s next civil war may generate from there.

   He also used the opportunity to encourage the farmers who received the deeds to continue to pay taxes to government and remain in good standing with the government.

   “Continuous compliance with your obligation to pay your taxes will enable you to keep your legal ownership,” he added.

   For his part, AML lawyer, Cllr. Boakai Paegar, said ArcelorMittal decided to pre-pay on behalf of the farmers to have them legalize their ownership and be in good standing with the law.

   Cllr. Paegar said he wants the rest of the farmers who were not presented deeds to ensure that they get involved with the second phase of the process, which is expected shortly.

   Cllr. Paegar said, “ArcelorMittal is not willing to do business with anyone who operates out of the law.”

   He further mentioned that AML has had previous considerations for the sake of peaceful coexistence, but underscored that “at time the legal process should be considered so that international best practice is achieved”.

   Meanwhile, the farmers who received the deeds used the occasion to thank AML and the Liberia Land Authority for the initiative.

   The farmers said the event was “rewarding” and a total demonstration of commitment to work with communities affected by ArcelorMittal’s operation.

   They however noted that the process has now made them “proud and legitimate land owners”, owing to the great help from AML and the LLA.

   The farmers however encouraged the rest of their colleagues to form a part of phase 2 of the public land sale deed initiative, which is to avoid future burdens.

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