In compliance with the WB policy OP 4.12 (Involuntary Resettlement), all measures were being taken by the Feasibility Study Team in the development of the project activities to avoid impacts on residential areas and/or on immovable built assets. There will be no physical resettlement as a result of Project activities. Similarly, the temporary use of land will be minimized through screening of repair and rehabilitation options and continuous monitoring of economic displacement affects during the construction phase.
The Feasibility Study indicates that the subprojects will require a small amount of permanent land acquisition in the three project raions without displacement of household and existing village infrastructure; there may be some, but minimal, temporary occupation of land for the completion of the works. Because there is potential for adverse economic displacement impacts on people, a RPF and Specific RAP has been formulated in accordance with the WB policies on involuntary resettlement.
Several principles will guide Project implementation:
a. No new or rehabilitation works will be carried out that will cause physical displacement (resettlement); all such works will avoid adverse impacts on homes and infrastructure;
c. Temporary adverse impacts on land will be minimized through careful implementation of construction/rehabilitation works; additional measures will be taken so as to inform the farmers so that damage on standing crops can be minimized;
d. Every effort will be made to limit construction and rehabilitation works to avoid dehkan farms inside or outside villages; should minor works cannot be avoided in dehkan farms outside the settlement areas, affected land and standing crops/trees will be compensated;
e. Compensation values for affected crops and trees will be determined by free market retail prices to leaseholders and to dehkan farmers;
f. Entitlements of affected farmers will be disclosed widely and in a transparent manner, involving, among others, the Water User Associations (WUA);
g. Farmers will be able to express their grievances and seek compensation; and
h. Implementation of RF policies outlined here will be monitored internally by PIU as well as through an Independent Panel of Experts, composed of three members.
i. Compensation will be fully provided to the affected parties before any construction and rehabilitation works may begin.
3Objectives of resettlement policy framework
These consist of the following:
a. Ensure construction, rehabilitation, and rehabilitation/repair works are implemented in accordance with the policies and principles outlined in this document;
b. Provide a basis for consultations with relevant stakeholders;
c. Enable farmers to have firm knowledge of their entitlements and responsibilities;
d. Guide affected groups to launch grievances through appropriate channels; and
e. Ensure monitoring of arrangements for economic displacement.
4Results of the socio-economic census of 37 affected farms
The following summarizes the results of socio-economic census of farms and farmer’s families to be affected during the construction of interceptor drains (IDs) in 3 project raions.
The Feasibility Study suggests that the construction of 25 km of interceptor drains (wide open drainage collectors) along southern border of the three raions to cut-off the groundwater flowing from the Burgandin massif of Kyrgyz Republic and to divert excess water from the lower parts of the project area should start as early as possible.
According to the data as of Jan 1, 2009, the total number of farms to be affected during the construction of IDs in 3 raions is 37. The PIU identified these farms using the lists of 43 farmers prepared by Ferghanagiprovodkhoz Institute in autumn 2008. The process of consolidating/merging of farms, launched after the Decree “On Optimization of Cropping Areas and Increasing of Food Crop Production” issued by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on 20 October 2008 (see Annexes 1 and 2), has significantly reduced the number of leasehold farms in the region. Some farms within the IDs construction area were also reorganized and the number of farms in the ID construction areas has been reduced from 43 to 37. In addition, the process of farm consolidation is not yet complete; during 2009 it will be continued with the emphasis on the consolidation of farms involved in cropping orchards. According to the information received from MAWR, farmers who manage orchards and mulberry trees (used for feeding silk warms under State order) will be also merged so as to have at least 5 ha of land.
Of the 37 farms surveyed, only one plot is not a registered leasehold farm, but a small 0.16 ha plot given from a former shirkat in 2004 to the guard of pumps on drainage wells instead of paying him a salary. He has no any documents for this plot, and seems to be more vulnerable in terms of land acquisition, because, according to the FS calculations, “his” plot will be fully occupied or destroyed by the IDs, and he will have no chance to keep at least a small piece of this plot after the completion of construction works.
4.2Basic characteristics of Project affected leasehold farmers’ households
Leasehold farmers’ households are larger; thus they have greater opportunities to make use of family labor. The average family size of affected leasehold farmers (7.1 persons) is higher than the average rural family size in the Project Area (5.9 persons). Less than half of the members of the leasehold farmer households surveyed in 2009 are women (48.3 percent). The average age of the family members is 27.2 years. Leasehold farmers’ families have the same share of children under 16, as compared with average households – 30 percent, and the percentage of pension-age persons10 is 8 and 10 percent, respectively.
The educational level of leasehold farmer family members is much higher than the averagein the Project area. Among leasehold farmers, 28 percent of men and 9 percent of women have completed higher education or have a post-graduate degree.
Agriculture is the most significant source of income for leasehold farmers and their families. The percentage of working age persons is very high in the surveyed households and 66 percent of family members aged 16 and above (including the farmers themselves) work on the leasehold farm plot. The employment and economically active rate is high among both male and female family members. More than 30 percent of economically active family members have at least one additional job. There are no registered unemployed in leasehold farmer’s households; the share of pensioners is only 3 percent (comparing with average 8-10 percent for other households). In addition, there are no vulnerable members (e.g., disabled or very old people) in leasehold farmers’ households.
Cash incomes of leasehold farmers’ families are much larger than those of the dehkan households. In December 2008, total cash income of the surveyed farmers’ households was 498,000 soums (USD 360), and the average per capita monthly income was 77,000 soums (USD 56)11. Incomes measured through expenditures are even much higher than incomes from cash income. Cash expenditures of leasehold farmers’ families in December 2008 averaged 709,000 soums (USD 514) and per capita monthly expenses were 118,000 soums or USD 86. None of leasehold farmers’ households live on USD 1 per person a day or below, but, according to the SA-2007 survey, about 60 percent of the Project area population did so. Moreover, 95 percent of surveyed farmers considered themselves rich; only 2 of these farmers (5 percent) consider themselves poor12.
All of the 37 Project affected farmers have their own garden plot (tomorka) on irrigated lands with an average size of 0.2 ha, of which 0.1 ha is occupied by crops, gardens, and vineyards. This additional garden plot owned by leasehold farmers is significantly larger than those held by dehkan farmers. The leasehold farmers use their garden plots effectively; the average cash income they make from marketing the crops they raised on these plots for last 12 months was 488 thousand Sums (US$375). Additionally, the average consumption from these plots in 2008 was 341,000 sums (US$260 a year). The Social Assessment conducted in 2007 showed dehkan farms to have higher productivity; the first group of leasehold farmers that will be affected by the Project also obtain higher yields from their dehkans than other farmers.
Thirty four of the 37 leasehold farmer households (92 percent) have livestock on their garden plots. The average livestock they hold consists of 3.6 cows and 5.2 sheep (comparing with 2 cows and 3 sheep as the average for the Project area households). Even in December 2008, incomes from the sale of home grown agricultural products, including livestock products grown on the family dehkan plot, constituted 21.7 percent of leasehold farmers’ household incomes. Additionally, 38.3 percent of incomes came from the leasehold farm activities and 6.2 percent was from the salary of farmers. Overall, the agricultural incomes of leasehold farmers, even in winter, constituted more than 65 percent of their cash household income. Leasehold farmers’ plots are also an important source of forage and are also used to graze livestock (Table 2).
Table 2. Sources of forage and pastures for livestock in households of affected farmers
Note: the sum exceeds 100%, because farmers use the combination of sources.
It is important to note that the farmers’ plots are used as pastures and sources of forage only when their leasehold holdings are large. Larger plots produce straw after wheat harvesting and plant forage crops. None of the small fruit farmers use their plots for the feeding of livestock. Because the leasehold farmers with larger holdings will lose only 3-5 percent of their land as a result of the Project, ID construction is not likely to create adverse impacts on the capacity of these farmers to keep the livestock.