The current study attempts to examine whether large-scale agricultural investment of this type benefits the poor and how this investment can be implemented to increase benefits for the poor. It is arguable whether the poor need more land to grow crops to meet their food security requirements or need to benefit from large-scale agricultural investment in Cambodia. Although the poor households are capable of operating small plots of a few hectares each, they generally lack capital and the means to work large chunks of new land with forests or degrade forests. This is taken as a reason for government to provide large allocations of virgin lands as ELCs to companies. The rationale of ELCs is to increase economic activity and create employment, especially for the poor. The question remains, then, to what extent, have the poor benefited from the large-scale agricultural investment projects? The study aims to improve the understanding of the various ways in which large agricultural projects actually play out. It provides specific policy and practical recommendations to improve pro-poor benefits from the different types of existing large-scale agricultural investments, and in light of this advises how best to distribute or utilise new lands. Due to the lack of resources, the study cannot conduct social and environmental impact assessment for each case or projects selected for the study. Despite this limitation, the study highlights social and environmental concerns where appropriate and feasible.
Authors and Publishers
The Mekong Land Research Forum seeks to bring research and policy a bit closer together. It does this in part by making the research more accessible and in part by helping to distill the key messages and points of debate so that information overload does not overwhelm policy makers and other advocates for progressive policy reform.