Monday, June 23, 2008


Darwin Chaniago and Roostiny Ch., Budi Daya Alam Foundation

The regional development of rural towns carved from virgin forest in East Kalimantan and the consequences experienced during the period of Repelita III to the early Repelita V are studied in this paper. An overview and history of development efforts in East Kalimantan Province and the primary objectives at the national, provincial and distric level are given as being basically to eradicate poverty and breakdown segregation and the un balance of socio-economic distribution by developing agroforestry in agricultural buffer areas the small rural areas cut from the jungle.

The selected economic crops both for local demand and commodity export developed in this area include sugar cane, coffee, pepper, clove. The five sub-regional development areas of East Kalimantan’s boundary projects highlight several development principles. The area concerned are Udjoh Bilang of the Long Bagun Distric in the west center, Long Bawan of Kerayan Distric in the north center, Mensalong of Lumbis Distric as the center of Sabah boundary and Nunukan of Nunukan Distric in the north coastal center.

Success results from the use of interdisciplinary central planning and integrated rural development approaches in order to develop a region. Not understanding of both social and ecological effects leads to problems. Agroforestry development is successful when special attention is given to allocate the new land to landless and poor income families. The rural development has successfully increased the number of population, improved infrastructure, transportation, helath, and raised income and career quality of families. Unticipated effects have occurred regarding the population, physical environment, aborigine people and socio-economy.

Despite large expenditures to developed the rural areas with some infrastructure and giving land to qualified poor, the population has not grown as expected. In the early stages of development, extensive erosion of valuable top soil, silting of rivers as well as dying off of forest at development site edges occurred and problems of forest fire caused by shifting cultivation araised. The virgin forests are inhabited by aborigine people, who have been displaced and whose culture, was disrupted by the rural development schemes.

Socio-economic goals have not been fully met in such as the unbalance of economic and population distribution, elimination of poverty, attractionof small bussiness to rural boundary towns, although large progress has been achieved. Recommendation incuding training more local environmental professionals for input into the planning process in order to minimize the environtment impact of development and in order to increase public awareness of the environmental problems. To developed basic infrastructure and investment in rural towns will take more time and should be considered in the Repelita on provincial level and further discussed in the Rakorbang Tingkat II. More research on preservation of natural conservation areas and natural resources within a development site is needed. Making capital more available will encourage small bussiness and industries to invest in the rural boundary towns especially in the northern coastal area of Nunukan and Sebatik.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


H.J. von Maydell, Hamburg University

Applied Research in Agroforestry

Many previous rural development schemes and programmes have failed, because they did not fully incorporate the people involved, the socalled target-groups.

From this very reason, although technically and economically highly advanced, they often proved to be impracticable. One of the main constraints emerging from such desintegration was that the most energetic and capable people left their rural home and migrated to urban centers, leaving behind women, children and elder people, struggling for survival under harsh conditions but not open for innovations.

Is there a realistic chance to create more and more attractive jobs through agroforestry? People will only accept and further develop agroforestry if “it pays”. Thus agroforestry must not be primarily the art of skillfully combining forest and fruit trees with annual and perenial crop plants and/or animals but the art of making rural life, primary production, interdisciplinarity, etc. more attractive. “Attractive” may involve a variety of criteria, ranging from maintaining cultural identities and traditions to tenural arrangements, over higher (cash) income, lower risks, etc. to prestige and reducing the expenditure of (manual) work.

The latter appears to be reciprocal to the demand for more jobs, but only at the first glance. It may include reorganization of the labour division between specific social groups and even within families, redistributing responsibilities between men, women and children. Again, first steps were made within the last 10 years, but in future agroforestry will have to be much more oriented towards socioeconomic than ecological and technical progress.

Nevertheless, agroforestry must never be an attempt to return to stoneage practices of land use or to merely re-allocate resources subject to ideological trends. If agroforestry is to be successful in future, the most dynamic and advanced technologies will have to be fully incorporated like those of biotechnology, and spesifically gene tecnology. It is indispensable to benefit from the wisdom and deeprooted, site-specific experience of rural people, cultivating their lands according to well-established traditional rules, but it is likewise indispensable to be ahead of other land uses in order to become or remain competitive.

Agroforestry research will thus have to be diversified and to expand into hitherto increasingly higher skills for interdisciplinary work and utmost standards of quality. If such research is carried out by specialists at international level, they will be the danger of isolating the scientist’s progress from the grassroot practice.

Quoting an ICRAF publication, “The nutritional value of any food that is not eaten is zero, regardless of its chemical composition”. In other words, applied research, however dynamic and progressive, will have to make sure that its results will be transferable and at a given time applicable by those for whom they have been developed. The “primitive” farmer’s family is expected to verify what research teams and computers have designed. This is essential for future evaluation of agroforestry progress. Evaluation, after diagnosis and design, should from a local research topic for the future. So far, much is still left to subjective empirical judgement, and to presumption rather than on hard facts. This will have to be changed.

International research in agroforestry should, therefore not only be propagated and further developed in a horizontal dimension, i.e. initiating wordl-wide cooperation, but also in a vertical dimension, i.e. from top scientists and “high-tech” institutions to the people working with their fields, forests and livestock. This depends on the result of their labour and many risks, and more than often they were left alone if national or regional programmes did not correspond with political developments.

Oncemore, agroforestry is more than a technique. It has, therefore, a high potential to change structures and functions of rural systems. This implies both, a challenge and specific responsibility. Agroforestry research has endevoured not only to create awarness and expectations but also to find answers to many questions, today and tomorrow and provide the “knowhow” for a wide practical implementation.

Evaluation of Agroforestry Sytems

Monitoring and evaluation are the main instruments for adapting an agroforestry project to changing conditions and/or demands and thus have a direct influence on re-designing and current control. Quite often, however, monitoring and evaluation are still restricted to linear causa-effect functions whereas the highly complicated feedback functions within system networks are rarely recognized and the dynamics of evaluations/developments hardly elaborated. A number of questions can be applied to get answer:

- Is agroforestry effective i.e. are the methods and practices appropriate to meet the objectives of integrated land use? (No matter how much it costs).
- Is agroforestry efficient, i.e. can the input/output ratio be justified for a given project or farm?
- Is a specific agroforestry system or practice significant, i.e. does it have lasting relevance (sustainalility) and multiplier effect? If accepted, can it be transfered and further developed?

Mos important, however, is the question wether the so called target group, the rural population, will be ready and capable to continue with their own means and resources after an initial, outside-sponsored introduction or improvement of agroforestry.