As US-based holding company African Agriculture Inc. (AAGR) has filed an initial public offering to fund a large-scale agribusiness project in the northern region of Saint-Louis in Senegal, local communities are demanding the company return their land stolen over a decade ago.
In 2012, Senhuile obtained 20,000 hectares of land for 50 years for an agribusiness venture following the declassification of part of the Ndiaël Nature Reserve. In the years since, communities who have been living in Ndiaël for generations have opposed the project and advocated for the return of their legitimate land. The Oakland Institute and GRAIN(link is external) have extensively documented the impact of the project.
“The 20,000-hectare concession has had a devastating impact on our people. It was granted against the will and without the consent of our communities, which have used this land for generations for wood, food, medicinal plants, and most crucially for pasture, given that we are agro-pastoralists whose livelihoods depend on livestock,” said Elhadji Samba Sow on behalf of the Collectif pour la Défense du Ndiaël, representing 37 villages and over 10,000 people. The Senhuile project additionally blocked passage along customary routes between villages and water sources while the irrigation canals caused the death of at least three children by drowning.
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