Draft Law Agricultural Land Campaign

 February 2016, the Inter-Ministerial Commission to Inspect, Demarcate and Assess Economic Land Concessions concluded its review on ELCs finalized its review of all ELCs. According to media reports, a total of 230 land concession projects were reviewed by the commission. 117 of these ELCs (1,181,522 hectares) were under the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), and 113 ELCs and other concessions (646,296.75 hectares) under the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment (MoE). The Commission was since dissolved. No public report was issued on its work.  Otherwise, Open Development Cambodia (ODC) found that, out of the 257 ELCs recorded, as of January 2017:

  • 32 ELCs had been revoked
  • 134 ELCs had no evidence of adjustment
  • 4 ELCs had been downsized after being revoked
  • 87 ELCs (established between June 2003 and July 2016) had been downsized (the most recent downsizing being Lan Feng (Cambodia) International Company Ltd.)

Land issues, and the solution of government on it were bias to powerful persons, wealthy peoples, and private companies which received land concessions for agro-industrial plantation and/or where they submitted the request a huge amount of land to the government for granting them to invest the land for many years.   

The Draft Law on Agricultural Land (DLAL) was supported by FAO and ADB. The draft law has been drafted by FAO in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forest, and Fisheries (MAFF) since 2010. In 2011, FAO conducted many consultations with the relevant ministries without the involvement of NGOs and community representatives. Based on the preliminary analyses on the draft law with a support from legal NGO, the draft law has a lot of disadvantages to the farmer community. In March 2016, the MAFF issued sixth draft law and they had organized consultation regional and national consultation (organizing at third regions including Preah Sihanouk, Battambang, and Kratie and national in Phnom Penh), with NGOs and relevant stakeholders.  Consequently, after the National Forum, the content of DLAL was changed some articles which gave negative mood to the farmers.as well but the content of the draft still be worried, and the recommendations were not accepted. Subsequently, the draft law has been approved without accepting the farmer’s concerns to put into the final draft, it would be burdened and affected 85% of Cambodian people who are the farmers.

Security of land and decent living conditions is the goal of the foundation of poverty reduction and development, but the land grabs whether through abuse openly, deception or coercion citizens vulnerable, pushing poverty, and affect efforts the development, and efforts welfare such as poverty without land to growing living standards and the ability to use of land and natural resources.  The loss of land which led people fall into poverty, bank or microfinance debt growing and people are forced to migrate to towns and abroad, and the security of a chuckle too.

Based on the analysis, the land dispute; low price of agricultural products; high price of agricultural instruments and farmer-protected policy caused by many sectors. Lack of basic rights and land rights; no power and no representation in negotiation with business and opening wide opportunity for public especially local farmers in legal consultation and policies concerning with farmers.

Urgently, respond to the draft law on Agriculture Land Management which will be adopted soon; CCFC designs a very precise plan to peacefully dialogue with the Royal Government of Cambodia to consider all aspects and inputs before adopting such law. CCFC also collaborates with networks communities and activists to disseminate the impact of draft law in order to address the government to attention those concerns.

Within the government’s commitment with this draft law, the MAFF created a working group, under the decision No. 350, date June 20, 2012. The working group of the General Directorate of Agriculture has reviewed and revised the content and substances of articles and has drafted articles already developed by the FAO advisor and new articles  to be included into the draft Law, starting with articles under Chapter I to Article 21 of Chapter IV. The Ministry’s working group has further requested technical units to review and discuss the working group of the General Directorate of Agriculture draft Law on Agricultural Land, in their respective working groups.

With the recommendations received from the working group´s drafting of the Law on Agricultural Land Management, the General Directorate of Agriculture restructured the working group, they met on 09 June, 2015, to review and revise a preliminary draft Law on Agricultural Land Management, which consisted of 11 Chapters and 93 Articles. This preliminary draft Law was then sent to be reviewed and revised by Mr. Ouk Siphan, Deputy Director General of Agriculture before submitting for discussion in the working group, once again, this resulted in the first draft Law on Agricultural Land with 13 Chapters and 113 Articles. However, the content of the draft still be concerned which the farmer community will be restricted the freedom of owners in managing the farmland, face of losing the last state public land remain, serious fine and punishment against owners of the agricultural land.

Above activities, CCF collaborated with the NGOs partners attending and persuading MAFF at the workshop to delete and changes some articles. The next step, CCFC shall continue to fight for better draft content of law are to  mobilize all the farmer’s members and relevant partners to address this issue through the legal analysis, organizing community and national consultation, and submission petition to competent public institutions. The CCFC will also monitor its activities through reviewing and tracking information via media outlet, and other means. If the draft law has been adopted without considering the farmers’ concerns, CCFC will continue to set the advocacy campaigns to suggest the government or National Assembly to amend such law again.

1- GOAL

Draft law on Agricultural Land is designed to serve local farmers by public consultation and promoting communities empowering influence to policy engagement level.

2- OBJECTIVES

  1. To urgent the government to release the better content of Draft Law on Agricultural Land and to analysis the content of such draft which impact to farme’s benefit.
  2. To organise awareness raising on the new Draft Law on Agricultural Land Management; and to advocate and submit consultative report to stakeholders and relevant public institutions such as MAFF, National Assembly in order to improve the content of the draft law. And to encourage farmer community to engage actively in protection their common befinit.

3- The Man Activities Draft Law Campaign

  • Pre-meeting with partners: CCFC will organize meeting between partners, networks,CSOs or NGOs working and supporting farmers rural  and core-group to share  updated of the draft law of agricultural law and to be well-prepared before the event happening.
  • Analyze the of draft law version.6 and Version. 7: CCFC will have a consultation meeting with its partners CPN,Cross-Sector and NGOs working on Agriculture  to discuss and analysis the impact of DLAL. Legal supporters (Lawyer whom high experiences with that issued). CCFC will be constantly to discuss further on the key points on DLAL to compile and document as the reports which affected the farmers living conditions and ethnic minorities.
  • Conduct Local and regional consultations: CCFC will cooperate in collaboration with CGCN, CPN, CSO and other networks to conduct 25 local consultations with 5000 to 7000  participants. And 70-80  key farmers network will be joint in 6 regional consultations to collect and raise their need and concerns on the new draft law to documentation. CCFC will release and provide some tools such as leaflet, Video, T-Shirt…to all participants who involve into the events as well.
  • Submit Farmer Concerns on Agricultural Land to Relevant institutes:  CCFC will bring the farmer’s concerns on the draft law on agricultural land to department of agriculture and provincial hall in some provinces including Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Thbong Khbom, Takeo and Preah Sihanouk provinces. There will be 200 farmers community people. Journalists and medias will be invited to investigate within the events of each gatherings for petition submissions.  CCFC will also work closely with its partners as such Cross-Sector Network, CPN, submit the petition to the national level and relevant ministries such as MAFF, National Assembly. There will be approximately farmers who will be involved in the event.
  • Radio talk show: CCFC will be conducted and invited the specialist to discuss the impact of the draft law. This program is called the Voice of Farmers which will be also discussed the relevant laws and regulations on land tenure, small farmers’ living condition and concerning of farmers on the agricultural land law.
  • Meeting with stakeholders to set advocacy actions:  CCFC will coordinate meeting with relevant NGOs partners and core-group to design advocacy strategic interventions to improve effectiveness of the agricultural land law.
  1. You can download All document about The Draft Law on Agricultural Land  below