Turning straw into gold: specialization among damar agroforest farmers in pesisir, Sumatra

Turning straw into gold: specialization among damar agroforest farmers in pesisir, Sumatra

As most nontimber forest products (NTFPs) are of low cash value, their potential for generating significant income appears limited. Low value products can, however, result in significant incomes when people specialize in them. We examine specialization and the conditions under which it occurred for resin production from agroforests in Pesisir Sumatra using data from 223 households. Households with agroforests enjoyed incomes 26% higher than average. Comparison of two villages suggests specialization was associated with access to markets, less suitable land for wet rice cultivation and reliance on damar income for purchasing food staples. In contrast to findings elsewhere, Krui farmers specialized using low value products and minimum inputs. The cultivation of damar in low maintenance agroforests yielded attractive returns. We conclude that low value NTFPs should not be overlooked, as specialization and low input production systems such as agroforests can help to generate significant income from these products.

Authors: Wollenberg, E.; Nawir, A.A.

Topic: resins,agroforestry,income,non-timber forest products

Geographic: Sumatra,Indonesia

Publication Year: 2005

ISSN: 1472-8028

Source: Forests, Trees and Livelihoods 15(4): 317-336

DOI: 10.1080/14728028.2005.9752534

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