This Handbook is intended to help develop an understanding of what needs to be considered when dealing with agriculture in a refugee or returnee operation. In particular, it clarifies how to promote and maintain sound practices for displaced people in diverse situations, often working with a range of different agencies.
The Handbook presents options and approaches for crop production – exploring opportunities for minimizing environmental impact and providing guidelines for developing locally appropriate initiatives. It has been written with a focus on:
- the needs and rights of refugees, returnees and the communities among whom they are living, to produce food, ensure adequate nutrition and develop or contribute to their livelihoods; and
- minimizing those environmental problems frequently associated with agricultural activities in refugee-related settings.
The Handbook provides, therefore, technical information on food production, guidelines for analysis and planning, notes on training and extension, and considers the legal and regulatory setting in which agricultural activities may occur.
The many implementing agencies (especially humanitarian and development agencies) and donors with whom UNHCR works are the main intended users of this Handbook. In particular it is for project managers, planners and trainers (who may not be specialists in agriculture or natural resource management). The Handbook will also be relevant to individual refugees and local people who practice some form (and scale) of agriculture, but it cannot be expected to reach this level in every case.