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Poverty and livelihood diversification in rural Liberia: exploring the linkages between artisanal diamond mining and smallholder rice production

By Gavin Hilson and Stephen Van Bockstael


This paper provides an account of the changing livelihood dynamics unfolding in diamond-rich territories of rural Liberia. In these areas, many farm families are using the rice harvested on their plots to attract and feed labourers recruited specifically to mine for diamonds. The monies accrued from the sales of all recovered stones are divided evenly between the family and hired hands, an arrangement which, for thousands of people, has proved to be an effective short-term buffer against poverty. A deepened knowledge of these dynamics could be an important step towards facilitating lasting development in Liberia’s highly-impoverished rural areas

Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2012
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