Improving livelihoods and food security in Cambodia

Project description

Title: Improvement of livelihood and food security of former landless and land-poor households in Kampong Chhang, Kampong Speu, Kampong Thom and Kratie provinces 
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Cambodia
Partner: National Committee for Social Land Concessions (based in the Ministry of Land Management)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC)
Overall term: 2016 to 2021


The project on Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development (LASED) implemented by the Cambodian Government funds a concession system that allocates land for residential and farm purposes to landless and land-poor families. The programme also offers services and infrastructure in order to improve the living conditions. However, many families have been unable to use the land allocated to them, as much of it was partially degraded forests which was not yet accessible and ready for agricultural use. The livelihoods and food security of the recipients of the land remained precarious and they continued to have only very limited access to sustainable social and economic services. In addition, the recipient households risked forfeiting their land rights if they were unable to meet the criteria for the transfer of the title for the land allocated for residential or agricultural purposes.


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


The project supports the landless population in developing their livelihoods on the newly acquired land and helps them to prepare the land for agricultural use. It provides knowledge and skills which result in increased food security for the households through a broader range of products and new, sustainable production techniques.  

The measures aim to provide those directly affected as well as local authorities with comprehensive advice on planning, implementation and establishing structure for securing their livelihoods and sustainable community development. The three fields of action are: 

  • Food security 
  • Developing a basis for long-term agricultural production 
  • Local development through new partnerships between local authorities and stakeholders in civil society and the private sector. 

The project is being undertaken in cooperation with the Committee on Social Land Concession in the Ministry of Land Management. The most important implementing organisations are the cross-sector provincial and district working groups headed by the Chair of the Provincial Governors. These groups manage the staff in the decentralised sectoral authorities at province and district levels. 

There is also cooperation with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to alleviate the precarious food situation. 


  • Formation of 76 food security groups: participatory land use plans were developed for the efficient management and use of resources. Response mechanisms to safeguard nutrition and food were also introduced through measures such as cash-for-work and food- for-asset programmes and rice banks (self-help groups). In addition, training was held on setting up a common fund for savings and loans.
  • Agricultural equipment and vehicles (tractors, tuk-tuks, hand tractors) were delivered to the new communities to make working the fields easier and for transporting agricultural produce. Training for drivers was improved and a management system developed at community level. 
  • Results of the training for recipients of land: 1,014 households (44.5 per cent of the indicator) use the whole of the plots they were given for agriculture. 
  • A number of agricultural interest groups were set up. Promoting organic farming generates higher market prices and improved soil quality.
  • The food-for-assets programme and diversifying food production in home gardens have contributed successfully to improving the food situation. Ninety-six per cent of households have had enough to eat throughout the whole year (source: Food Security Survey, December 2018).