Improvement of livelihoods and food security

Project description

Title: Improvement of livelihoods and food security project (ILF)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Cambodia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction
Overall term: 2014 to 2017 


The Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development (LASED) programme run by the Government of Cambodia underpins a system of land concessions by allocating plots to the landless and land-poor for residential and farming purposes, and by providing services and infrastructure to improve their livelihoods. Unfortunately, many of the recipients under the programme have so far been unable to use all their allocated land as much of it consists of partially degraded forest that has not been cleared and which is not yet suitable for agricultural use. The livelihoods and the food security situation of the recipients remain precarious, and they have very limited access to sustainable social and economic services. Meanwhile, the recipient households risk losing their land rights if they fail to satisfy the criteria for the granting of title to the land they live on or to the agricultural land allocated to them.


People allocated land in the provinces of Kratie, Tboung Khmum and Kampong Thom have achieved a sustainable improvement in their livelihoods and food security.


The GIZ project is active in Cambodia’s Kratie, Tbong Khmum and Kampong Thom provinces, where about 3,150 households have been allocated land under the LASED programme, for residential purposes and smallholder farming. The only condition these people are required to satisfy when applying for a permanent land title is that they prove they are using the land allocated to them properly.

Addressing the most needy families, the project assists the recipients in building up livelihoods using the newly acquired land. It supports the initial preparation of the land, as well as efforts to improve the soil condition and put it to agricultural use. It also provides knowledge and skills that help people improve their food security through diversification and specifically adapted land use.

The measures are divided into three areas of action: 1) establishing food security, 2) securing a basis for long-term agricultural production, and 3) local development. Addressing each of these areas, the project provides advice not only to the land recipients but also to the local administrations. This is intended to improve planning processes, implementation and structural development.

The project encourages cooperation between all the actors involved at the various levels. The main partner is the Ministry for Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC), but collaboration also takes place with the Ministry of Agriculture. Activities on the ground are implemented by cross-sector provincial and district working groups chaired by the provincial governors, and with local councils and community-based groups at village level.

The project cooperates closely with two other related programmes in Cambodia financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).


To launch the project, a workshop was held which brought together all the main stakeholders, including the national, provincial and district working groups, as well as the local councils. This served to establish an effective network for vertical and horizontal cooperation.

To gain a better understanding of the current situation, an initial baseline study has been carried out involving almost 280 relatively new households in four target areas of Kratie and Kampong Thom.
Community committees have been set up in close cooperation with the local councils. These will oversee the milling of rice and manage the deployment of eight hand tractors that are to be used collectively in the provinces.