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Agricultural Land

  • Establish central G.P.S based mapping of not only the Freetown Peninsula area but also the Provinces, including Crown land and Government reservations, in order to determine the status of the available land for cultivation and development.

  • Immediately establish an additional system of property interests in land in Sierra Leone known as leasehold, and give it legal status through enactment of legislation.

  • Repeal the law prohibiting ownership of land in Sierra Leone by foreigners subject to a residual oversight by government where large tracts of land are being bought by non-Sierra Leoneans.

  • Establish a system of user rights over state lands. Establish a registration system for user rights which enables them to be tracked and monitored.


  • Establish land regulations with clear rights and responsibilities of communities and traditional leaders regarding their role in the process or land acquisition, including zoning, community preservation areas for watersheds, spiritual or ecologically sensitive areas.

  • Immediately implement a system of ‘Title Registration’ based on the GPS mapping for freehold and leasehold title to property in Sierra Leone.

  • Establish a mechanism, such as a Lands Tribunal or Lands Arbitration Board that will adjudicate initially the claims of competing land ownership and enforce land agreements/contracts, subject to a right of appeal to the courts.


International and Regional Trade in Agricultural Products and Services

  • Negotiate more flexible rules of origin under EBA and AGOA and in the future EPA.

  • Make more use of the flexibilities in the Agreement on Agriculture to protect infant and other vulnerable agricultural industry

  • Comply with SPS standards for cocoa, ginger and other important agricultural commodities

  • Develop and enact comprehensive law and regulations on SPS, including systems and management

Annex 1:



Investment incentives proposed under Investment Promotion Act 2004

Measure/Coverage

Current situation
(Non-Citizen (Trade and Business)
Act of 1969, and other Acts)


Indicative list to be annexed to the Investment Promotion Act, 2004

Corporate tax

General rate 35%

Zone A: 30%; Zone B: 25%a

Agriculture (tree and food crops) and forestry (cultivation)

Rice: exempt first 10 years

Exempt first 10 years

Agri-processing (60% local input)

35%

Exempt first 10 years

Agri-processing (below 60% input)

35%

First 10 years: Zone A – 20%; Zone B – 10%

Forestry (processing)

35%

Zone A – 30%; Zone B – 20%

Tourism

Exempt 1 to 5 years

Zone A – 25%; Zone B – 20%

Losses write-off

Allowable, subject to maximum annual write-off of 50% of succeeding years profit

Allowable, subject to maximum annual write-off of 50% of succeeding years profit

Import duty







Raw materials

5% (malaria and HIV drugs exempt)

Duty free

Plant and machinery

5%

Duty free

Generator for operations

5%

Duty free

Tourism

Duty-free concession for new construction, extension or renovation of an existing one, applicable to building materials, machinery or equipment that is not easily available in Sierra Leone for the period of construction or rehabilitation

(i) Duty-free concession for new approved construction, verified extension, restoration of tourist facilities and amenities, including renovation due to force major, determined by the Tourist Board. This is applicable to imported materials for construction, furnishings, and equipment for first three years or to date of completion if less than three years.
(ii) 50% duty rate reduction for upgrading during first 12 months of work or to date of completion if less than 12 months

Intermediate products

20%

20%

Operational vehicles

5% (between 0 and 4 years)
20% (over 4 and up to 10 years)
30% (above 10 years)

5% (between 0 and 4 years)
20% (over 4 and up to 10 years)
30% (above 10 years)

Sales tax







Plant and machinery

Tax free

Tax free

Other: at entry (advance tax)

17.5%

10%

at final assessment

17.5% (production over Le 100 million)

17.5% (all production)

vehicles

17.5%

17.5%

Payroll tax







General

Non-ECOWAS citizens: Le 1,000,000 (US$370) per year; and ECOWAS citizens: Le 100,000 (US$37) per year



Non-ECOWAS citizens: Le 1,000,000 (US$370) per year; and ECOWAS citizens: Le 100,000 (US$37) per year
Exempt if enterprise exports US$1 million or more during the year

Tourism

Exempt for non-available skills for first three years of employment for up to six persons

Exempt for non-available skills for first two years for up to three personnel

Investment allowance

5% in first year of new purchase

7.5% in first year of new purchase

Incentives for exports







Export/excise tax

Exempt for 75% exported output

Exempt for 75% exported output

Export Processing Zones

n.a.

Special incentives to be enacted

Duty drawback

Allowed on raw materials for goods exported

Allowed on raw materials for goods exported

Research and training expenses (capital investment only)

n.a.

Initial allowance: 40%; annual: 20%

Local employment allowance (number of employees)

n.a.

2.5% of business income exempt from tax (under 51 employees)
5% of business income exempt from tax (between 51 and 100 employees)
7.5% of business income exempt from tax (over 100 employees)

n.a. Not applicable

a Zone A: Western Sierra Leone; and Zone B: all regions in Sierra Leone outside Zone A.



Source: The Non-Citizen (Trade and Business) Act of 1969; and Law No. 9 the Investment Promotion Act, 5 August 2004.

Annex 2
Some Relevant Provisions to establish Producer Companies under the Sierra Leone Companies Act




  1. Producer would mean any person engaged in any activity connected with or relatable to any primary produce.83 In this respect, primary produce could be:




  • produce of farmers, arising from agriculture (including animal husbandry, horticulture, floriculture, pisciculture, viticulture, forestry, forest products, re-vegetation, bee raising and farming plantation products), or from any other primary activity or service which promotes the interest of the farmers or consumers; or

  • produce of persons engaged in handloom, handicraft and other cottage industries;

  • any product resulting from any of the above activities, including by-products of such products;

  • any product resulting from an ancillary activity that would assist or promote any of the aforesaid activities or anything ancillary thereto;

  • any Activity which is intended to increase the production of anything referred to the first four sub-clauses or improve the quality thereof;

  • "producer" means any person engaged in any activity connected with or relatable to any primary produce.84




  1. Other institutions which do similar activities can also be similarly constituted.85 The objects for which Producer companies are established can be fairly wide. They can include:




  • production, harvesting, procurement, grading, pooling, handling, marketing, selling, export of primary produce of the Members or import of goods or services for their benefit :

  • Provided that the Producer Company may carry on any of the activities specified in this clause either by itself or through other institution;

  • processing including preserving, drying, distilling, brewing, vinting, canning and packaging of produce of its Members;

  • manufacture, sale or supply of machinery, equipment or consumables mainly to its Members;

  • providing education on the mutual assistance principles to its Members and others;

  • rendering technical services, consultancy services, training, research and development and all other activities for the promotion of the interests of its Members;

  • generation, transmission and distribution of power, revitalisation of land and water resources, their use, conservation and communications relatable to primary produce;

  • insurance of producers or their primary produce;

  • promoting techniques of mutuality and mutual assistance;

  • welfare measures or facilities for the benefit of Members as may be decided by the Board;

  • any other activity, ancillary or incidental to any of the activities referred to in the forgoing clauses or other activities which may promote the principles of mutuality and mutual assistance amongst the Members in any other manner

  • financing of procurement, processing, marketing or other activities specified in the forgoing clauses which include extending of credit facilities or any other financial services to its Members.86




  1. To take account of the large numbers usually found in the FBOs, any ten or more individuals, each of them being a producer or any two or more producer institutions, or a combination of ten or more individuals and producer institutions, can form an incorporated company as a Producer Company. Producer companies are incorporated as companies limited by shares. 87 They are required to be registered in the normal way by the Registrar of companies,88 once the memorandum and articles of association are satisfactorily prepared. This should normally happen within 30 days and a certificate of incorporation issued.




  1. Producer companies would be permitted to have at least five and not more than fifteen directors. The Board of Directors would have wide ranging powers in the operation of the Producer Companies, including the appointment of a Chief Executive, usually from outside the membership of the Producer Company. The share capital of a Producer company would consist of equity shares only.89 Shares in the Producer companies are not transferable unless with the permission of the Board or on the death of a member.




  1. Members receive the value of their pooled produce and the excess would be shared in cash or in kind, or in equity shares, in proportion to the produce supplied to the Company at the start of the year. Bonus shares or patronage bonuses would be allotted by the Board based on the contribution of the members to the company’s operations during the year. At their annual general meeting, the Members would decide the amounts proposed to be carried to reserve, the amount to be paid as limited return on share capital, and the amount proposed to be disbursed as patronage bonus.




  1. Cooperatives would also be able to become Producer companies, as in India. In such case, shareholders in the cooperatives would be deemed to be registered shareholders in the Producer Company to the extent of their share values. All properties and assets of the cooperatives would then be vested in the Producer companies; and their debts and liabilities would be transferred in the same manner.




  1. Special rights90 may be granted to an Active Member through the issue of appropriate instruments by the Producer Company, which could be transferable to any other Active Member on approval by the Board.




  1. Financial assistance can be provided by the Producer Company to any of its members on approval by the Board in the form of credit facilities, loans and advances. Credit would typically be extended for a period of six months or less. And repayments on loans and advances would not exceed seven years. General reserves may be invested in order to secure the highest possible return.




  1. Not only would Producer companies be able to acquire the shares of another Producer company, but they would also subscribe to the share capital of or enter into an agreement either by way of joint venture or formation of a subsidiary, with any other company (Producer company or otherwise). It would also be able to buy shares in any other company whether or not it is a Producer company, for an amount not exceeding thirty per cent of the aggregate of it’s paid up capital and free reserve. If a Producer company wishes to invest in excess of this, it would need the permission of the GoSL and a special resolution from its annual general meeting. Investments may be disposed of by the Board through a special resolution on approval from the members.




  1. Each Producer company would be required to maintain a register containing particulars of all the investments, showing the names of the companies in which shares have been acquired, number and value of shares; the date of acquisition; and the manner and price at which any of the shares have been subsequently disposed of.




  1. There would be substantial penalties in the case of contravention of any provisions of the Act establishing the Produce companies, including against directors and officers of the Producer companies, where there has been default relating to the accounts or failure to call a general meeting.91 Producer companies may decide to amalgamate, merge or to split into separate different companies. Disputes would be settled through conciliation or arbitration, and provision could either be made for it in the Act which establishes the Producer companies or it could be dealt with under the new provisions for arbitration in the draft FSDP.92




  1. In recognition that the Producer companies would be within an overall company legal framework, there would be provision in the Act for all other provisions, limitations and restrictions applicable to a private company, to apply to a Producer Company, as if it is a private limited company under the Act insofar as they are not in conflict with the provisions in the Act on the Producer companies.93

Annex 3: Terms of Reference

fao_logo


coat_of_arms_of_sierra_leone
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FOOD SECURITY (MAFFS)/FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO)
NATIONAL SUSTAINBLE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (NSADP)
TCP/SIL/3203 (D)

TERMS OF REFERNCE FOR A REVIEW OF THE LEGAL FRAMEWROK FOR THE COOMMERCIALIZATION OF AGRICULTURE
The Sierra Leone Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS), with support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is in the process of formulating a National Sustainable Agricultural Development Plan (NSADP) under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), based on the Government’s vision to make agriculture the “engine” for socio-economic growth in Sierra Leone, through commercialization and producer organization development”.
The Government recognized that various laws and by-laws were enacted in the past that had influence the current state of investment in the agriculture sector especially by the private sector. With this new vision of the government for the sector, a short term consultant is required to, under the overall supervision of the NSADP Coordinator, undertake the following tasks:

  • Review of the current Investment Incentive Regimes in the country, including taxation as they relate to the Agric. Sector

  • Review of the Agric Sector-related laws and their impact on investment in the sector

  • Suggest ways to promote Agricultural Public-Private Partnership (AgPPP) Schemes in Sierra Leone

  • Provide the legal framework for transforming Farmer-Based Organizations (FBOs) into legal commercial entities or legal faces

  • Recommend Legal Options for addressing land tenure issues in Sierra Leone

  • Review the sub- regional, regional and international Trade Agreements and issues as they relate to Sierra Leone and suggest recommendations that will lead to “Quick Wins” for the country.


Deliverables:
Taking into consideration the trends in population growth, increasing oil and food prices, climate change, green house emission and other immediate threat to the development of the agric. sector and based on his/her review, the consultant is expected to submit a concise but analytical report (in English) that successfully responds to the TOR with clear policy recommendations that will contribute to the development of a sustainable agricultural development plan.

A draft of the report should be submitted six weeks after the signing of the contract, and then do an hour power point presentation of the key findings to the Agriculture Advisory Group (AAG). The final report which must take into consideration comments or observations from MAFFS, FAO-SL, Farmers’ Representatives and the AAG should be submitted two weeks after.


Consultancy Period: Eight (8) weeks
Qualifications:

  • An advanced degree in Trade and Investment Analysis or Trade Law and related field from a well recognized and reputable university

  • Proven track record as evident in assignments and reports

  • Fluency in English language is mandatory.

Annex 4


Summary of Proposals from Agriculture Finance Technical Committee
Creation and strengthening of public sector/parastatal structures

  • Enabling environment: The GoSL should create the enabling environment with the necessary regulations to safe guard financial institutions against risk exposure to lending to the agriculture sector. A similar environment should be created to secure the investments of equity investors.

  • Establishment of National Agricultural Fund (NAF) to mobilise resources internally and externally to ensure rapid response to global food shortages and higher prices, and mitigation of long term crisis.

  • Establishment of Sierra Leone Agricultural Development Bank (SLADB) under a public/private-sector partnership to finance agricultural ventures directly and indirectly.


Government Guarantees scheme

  • Provision of agricultural loan guarantee scheme by the Government through the BSL to minimise the high credit risk associated with agricultural finance.


Coordination among private sector/multilateral agencies/ and funds

  • Existing commercial banks, community banks and micro-finance institutions to organise on-lending to agricultural enterprises by accessing funds from NAF, SLADB, UN agencies and international financial institutions.

  • Use leasing companies to provide equipment finance for mechanised farming

  • Insurance companies to provide insurance scheme to comprehensively cover all risks associated with agricultural ventures.

  • Create credit unions (which may require amendment to Cooperative Act or other relevant Acts)


Networking, linkages and collaboration with other entities

  • Strategic partnerships with UN agencies (World Bank, International Finance Corporation, IMF, World Food Programme, Food and  Agricultural Organisation, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and World Trade Organisation).

  • Strategic partnerships with other international financial institutions (African Development Bank, Afriexim Bank, Kuwait Fund, International Development   Bank, Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA), Chinese Development Bank, GTZ, BADEA, African Finance Corporation, etc) .

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