Improving the livelihoods and food security of formerly landless and land-poor households
Title: Improving the livelihoods and food security of formerly landless and land-poor households in Cambodia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC)
Overall term: 2015 to 2017
The Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development (LASED) programme run by the Cambodian Government includes a concession system that provides land to landless and land-poor households for residential and farming purposes. The programme also offers services and infrastructure with a view to improving living conditions for these households.
Many of the recipients have been unable to make use of the allocated land so far: the plots often consist of degraded forest areas that have not been cleared and are not yet suitable for farming. The livelihoods and food security of these people remain precarious, and they continue to suffer from extremely limited access to sustainable social and economic services. Moreover, recipient households are at risk of losing their land rights again if they find themselves unable to satisfy the criteria set out for transferring the title of the land allocated to them for residential or agricultural purposes.
The livelihoods and food security of people who have been allocated land in the provinces of Kratie, Tboung Khmum and Kampong Thom have sustainably improved.
The project is being implemented in Kratie, Tboung Khmum and Kampong Thom. In these provinces, around 3,150 households received land to live on and to engage in small-scale farming under the LASED programme of the Cambodian Government. In order to apply for a permanent land title, applicants simply have to prove that they are using the land allocated to them for its intended purpose.
The project addresses the neediest families and helps them to establish a livelihood from the land they have acquired. For example, they receive assistance in preparing the land and improving the soil to make it arable. The project also imparts knowledge and skills that help people to enhance their food security through diversification and appropriate land use.
The measures focus on three areas:
- Food security
- Securing the basis for long-term agricultural production
- Local development.
In each of these main areas of activity, the project advises not only the land recipients but also local authorities. The aim is to bring about improvements in planning processes, implementation and structural development.
The project strengthens cooperation among the stakeholders on a broad basis. While the Ministry for Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction is the chief partner, the project also works closely with the Ministry of Agriculture. Activities on the ground are carried out by joint working groups in the provinces and districts, chaired by the provincial governors, along with local councils and community-based groups at the village level.
The project cooperates closely with two related programmes in Cambodia, which are also financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
All of the main stakeholders, including the working groups at national, provincial and district level along with the local authorities, came together for a workshop when the project was launched. This meeting allowed them to establish an effective network for cooperation.
In order to better assess the current situation, an initial baseline study was carried out. Around 280 newly established households from four target areas in Kratie and Kampong Thom were involved in this study.
Community committees have been set up in close cooperation with the local authorities. Their task is to oversee rice processing and to coordinate the deployment of eight hand tractors that are to be shared in the provinces.