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MONROVIA: Palm oil giant Sime Darby has received the green light from villagers in western Liberia to clear 5,000 ha of land for a plantation, after a non-governmental organisation have accused it of a land grab.

A memorandum, signed at a ceremony in Grand Cape Mount County on Friday, gave villagers’ blessing for the company to develop the land with oil palm and rubber. It was witnessed by Liberian officials, civil society and traditional elders.

Environmental lobbyist Friends of the Earth has accusedSime Darby of harming biodiversity and depriving farmers of their livelihoods with its development in the west African country.

The company denied the accusation.

Sime Darby has signed an agreement with Liberia to develop about 220,000 ha of land for 63 years.

However, it has met resistance from some locals who accused the company of not properly informing them of the scale and implications of the project. — Reuters

Source: Site