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Krismon, Farmers and Forests: The Effects of the Economic Crisis on Farmers' Livelihoods and Forest Use in the Outer Islands of Indonesia

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Angelsen, Arild; Resosudarmo, Daju Pradnja
Date: 1999
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4423
Sector: Agriculture
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): forests
land tenure and use
Abstract: "This report presents some preliminary results on the impact of the economic crisis on farmers' livelihood and forest use, based on fieldwork in four provinces in Indonesia (Riau, West and East Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi). We stress the great variation throughout the country, and the volatility of the situation. Price data reveal that some groups of export crops-oriented farmers enjoyed a short-term gain during the first 2-3 quarters of 1998. Soaring food prices and a stronger rupiah since October 1998 have, however, gradually made real prices move towards their pre-crisis levels. Indeed, we found that the crisis has had a larger negative impact on farmers than initially hypothesised, whereas the short-term impact on forest might have been smaller than some feared. Most poor farmers lack the means to take advantage of higher crop prices. Better-off farmers, immigrants and urban dwellers with capital are more likely to utilise the opportunities created by the crisis and convert forests to high profitability crops. We found limited evidence in the survey area of return migration from the cities. An underestimated effect of the present situation might be the lack of law enforcement and a power vacuum, which have made illegal logging and encroachment of protected areas more likely."

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