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The county of Lofa, in North West Liberia, is also known as the ‘bread basket of Liberia’. Situated at the border of Sierra Leone and Guinee, the region facilitates Lofa as a commercial hub. The 350,000 people in Lofa are known for their entrepreneurial attitude and well-functioning agricultural cooperatives. As the vast majority of the population relies on subsistence farming and Lofa’s Spatial Development Plan shows an ambition of covering 30% of the county with agriculture, the county has high potential to increase its agricultural production to combat food insecurity in Liberia. The vision of the PPI compact is to enhance sustainable agricultural intensification and to facilitate regenerative forests through agroforestry in Lofa and to protect the remaining forest.
Foya, one of the counties’ district, is highly populated and has been subject to land degradation because of intensive, unsustainable agriculture. As a consequence of clearing forests to cultivate the land and moving to another piece of land the following year, the native forestry vegetation has been replaced by thick savannah grassland which continues to infest the area. Clearing the forest has led to a lower quality of soil, soil erosion on hills and a water that evaporates quicker because of a greater exposure to the sun.
Following the trend of deforestation of the Guinea forest in West-Africa, Foya is currently the frontier of deforestation. By restoring and protecting forest in Foya through the first PPI compact in Liberia, stakeholders hope to halt the deforestation of Foya into other counties of Liberia.
The compact was prepared in the June 2019 when the stakeholders agreed to a multi-stakeholder agreement in which the vision of the compact was laid out. In the course of 2020, the targets of the compact were determined based on the outcomes of the Participatory Land Use Plan of Foya. The final PPI compact will be signed end of 2020.