For the construction of the Salima Solar PV Plant JCM has acquired the rights to ~180ha of subsistence agricultural land from 227 project affected households who use the land for subsistence agriculture. This involved a cash compensation process in accordance with international best practice on a willing buyer – willing seller basis. JCM provided financial literacy training to the recipients of the compensation and has developed a detailed Livelihood Restoration Plan to ensure that livelihoods are restored to the same or better than before.
A Livelihood Restoration Plan (LRP) was developed by JCM to provide a comprehensive approach to managing impacts related to economic displacement as a result of the land acquisition for the Salima Project, in order to avoid causing further poverty in the process, and to enhance positive impacts. The LRP was developed to fulfill Malawian legislation and aligns with international best practice, particularly the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards and the World Bank Environmental and Social Framework.
The initiatives of the LRP focus on capacity development in agriculture and sustainable agricultural practices to enhance food security, as well as development of small- and micro business initiatives to diversify livelihoods of people affected.
Through JCM’s monitoring of the land replacement process and the livelihoods of the Project Affected Persons (PAPs), 35 vulnerable PAPs were identified as requiring food support during the four agriculturally lean months of November 2019 to February 2020. JCM worked together with the Salima District Council’s Agriculture Office to support the distribution of food parcels.
In addition, farm input starter packs consisting of early maturing hybrid maize seed and fertilizer (basal and top dressing) were also given. The seed would enable the PAPs to farm a 35m by 35m piece of land with minimum care, and harvest 20 to 30 bags of maize (50kgs). To promote self-sustainability JCM agreed with the PAPs that they would not sell their labor to other farm families, but instead with the food JCM had given them they would use their labor to farm on their own pieces of land to ensure they would have enough food for future lean months. JCM facilitated a farm demonstration by the District Council Agriculture Extension Officer to show the PAPs the method encouraged for using the packs. The extension officer has also provided continued support to the PAPs including training farmers on field hygiene, pest control, and post-harvest management.