Improving livelihoods and food security for landless households

Project description

Title: Improvement of livelihood and food security of former landless households in Kampong Thom, Tbong Khmum and Kratie
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Cambodia
Partner: National Social Land Concession Committee (based in the Ministry of Land Management)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC)
Overall term: 2014 to 2020



With their project on Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development (LASED) the Cambodian Government supports a concession system that allocates land for residential and farming purposes to landless and land-poor families. The programme offers services and infrastructure in order to improve living conditions. However, many families have not been able to use the land allocated to them, as it was often partially degraded forests. These areas had not been cleared and were not yet suitable for agricultural use. The livelihoods and food security of these land recipients therefore remain precarious and they continue to have only very limited access to sustainable social and economic services. In addition, the recipient households risk forfeiting their land rights if they are unable to meet the criteria for obtaining permanent land titles.


The livelihoods and food security of the people who were allocated land in the provinces of Kratie, Tboung Khmum and Kampong Thom have sustainably improved.



In the Cambodian provinces of Kratie, Tbong Khmum and Kampong Thom approximately 3,150 households received land for residential use and smallholdings under the earlier LASED project. In order to be able to apply for a permanent land title, the people must prove that they are using the land assigned to them in accordance with the requirements. The project is supporting particularly needy families to build a livelihood with the newly acquired land. The land and soil are prepared for cultivation. People are armed with further knowledge and skills so that they can improve their food security through diversification and specially adapted land usage.

The measures are implemented in three priority areas: 1) Establishing food security 2) Securing a basis for long-term agricultural production and 3) Local development. The project therefore advises not only land recipients but also the local authorities. The aim is to improve planning processes, implementation and structural development.

The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC) is the main project partner but the project also cooperates with the Ministry of Agriculture. Cross-departmental working groups in the provinces and districts chaired by the provincial governors together with local councillors and community-based groups in villages carry out the local measures.

The project works closely with two related projects in Cambodia that are also financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).



  • Project participants received equipment and vehicles (tractors, tuk-tuks) to make working the fields easier and to facilitate the transportation of agricultural produce. The drivers were trained in vehicle safety. A management system was developed at community level to set out the rules for using the vehicles and equipment.
  • 73 food security groups were formed: These developed participatory land use plans for the long-term cultivation and use of the land. They also introduced response mechanisms to safeguard nutrition and food. These include cash-for-work programmes and rice banks (self-help groups), which to date have handed over 900.43 tonnes of rice. The participants were also trained in how to set up a common fund for savings and loans.
  • The training courses provided for land recipients ensured that 2,274 households (84 per cent of the indicator) are using their newly acquired plots wholly for cultivation.
  • Several interest groups have been set up for organic farming. They work to prepare and promote sustainable agriculture. In addition, they are taking steps to certify organic products. This will allow those involved to benefit from higher market prices and improved soil quality.
  • Diversification of food production in home gardens has allowed 1,572 households (84 per cent of the indicator) to improve their food situation and 99 per cent of households had sufficient food throughout the year. (As at: February 2020)
  • To date, 2,289 households have received land titles of indefinite duration: 250 households in Tbong Khmum Province (2015), 779 in Kampong Thom Province (2018) and 1,260 in Kratie Province (2018-2019).


Last update: October 2020