Borgbuabu is the second village we are visiting to negotiate the lease of land, to grow cocoa. We struggled to reach an agreement with the leaders of the first village we visited, so we had to move on.
We’re not only meeting the leaders, but representatives of the inhabitants of the village too. There is a person representing the women of the village as well as the youths. The negotiation is a transparent process where everyone has their say.
The challenges are many. I may have a Sierra Leonean background, I am perceived as European.
Clifford, my companion in the Cacao Elegguá project, the project facilitator, has lived all his life here but as a Creole Sierra Leonean, he is an outsider to the village that belongs to the Mande tribe.
Nevertheless, we are making some progress, in a project that will benefit the community via a profit share model.
Next: I am meeting an agriculturist, that will teach me about soil, in Sierra Leone.