Improving food security for the landless population

Project description

Title: Improving the food security of former landless and land-poor households in Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, Kampong Thom and Kratié provinces
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Cambodia
Partner: National Committee on Social Land Concession (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 structures for securing their livelihoods and sustainable community development. The three fields of activity are: (1) Food security; (2) Developing a basis for long-term agricultural production; and (3) 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 interministerial National Committee on Social Land Concession in the Ministry of Land Management. The most important implementing organisations are the cross-sectoral provincial and district working groups headed by the Chair of the Provincial Governors. These groups manage the staff in the decentralised sectoral authorities at provincial and district levels. 
Cooperation also takes place with various private stakeholders, with the aim of selling the produce from the allocated land.


  • Equipment and vehicles (tractors, tuk-tuks) were delivered to the actors involved in order to make working the fields easier and to transport agricultural produce. Drivers were trained in using the vehicles. In addition, a system was developed at the community level for managing the equipment and vehicles. 
  • Formation of 76 food security groups through the project: participatory land use plans were developed within these groups for the long-term management and use of resources. Response mechanisms to safeguard nutrition and food were also introduced through measures such as cash-for-work programmes and rice banks (self-help groups), which handed over a total of 388.56 tonnes of rice. In addition, training was held on setting up a common fund for savings and loans. 
  • Results of the training for recipients of land: 2,262 households (75.3 percent of the indicator) use the whole of the plots they were given for agriculture.
  • A number of organic farming interest groups were set up. Their purpose is to pave the way for and disseminate sustainable farming and certify produce. As a result, the farmers benefit from higher market prices and improved soil quality.
  • 1,535 households improved their food situation by diversifying the foods they grew in their home gardens. All the households had enough to eat throughout the year (at December 2019). 
  • 732 households in Kampong Chhnang province and 344 households in Kampong Speu province received their land titles in 2019.

Last update: September 2020