Agroforestry having an impact on farmers in eastern Indonesia
Farmers in the dry eastern islands of Indonesia are enjoying the fruits of a project that set out to improve their livelihoods. Tony Bartlett of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research reports on the successes so far.
Many farmers in Indonesia have either adopted high-value timber-based agroforestry systems or are involved in the collection and sale of non-timber products, often from remnant forest areas. While the agroforestry systems provide many benefits to the farmers, such as the ability to generate cash when they have large expenses, the trees take a number of years to reach a saleable size and these systems do not provide regular sources of income that farmers need.
To address this important issue, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is funding the four-year ‘Kanoppi’ agroforestry project in Eastern Indonesia, which is conducting research to foster integration of timber and non-timber forest products in agroforestry systems and improve smallholders’ capacity to market high-value products from these systems. The project is managed by the World Agroforestry Centre’s regional office in Bogor, Indonesia and involves collaboration with many Indonesian research and development partners, as well as with scientists from the University of Western Australia. The project also has two NGO collaborators, Threads of Life and World Wildlife Fund.