May 19, 2017

Say No Draft Law on Agricultural land

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.

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