During my bachelor’s (Institut Teknologi Bandung-Biology), I did research on floristic structures of forest ecosystems. While reading literature for the research, I read about agroforestry systems, an intentional and integrated system of forest-like agriculture. I fell in love with the concept instantly. After graduating, I worked for The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Bogor where I went to the field a lot and interacted with smallholder farmers, managers of most agroforestry lands in Indonesia. I realized that I became especially interested in smallholder farmers and their perspectives on agroforestry systems and management. Hence, I applied for the CIFOR-USAID Forestry Master’s Degree Fellowship Program and chose the University of Missouri’s Center for Agroforestry in Columbia, MO for my fellowship, to continue pursuing my path to become a researcher and educator on agroforestry systems and management.
Throughout the program, I tried to maximize my two-years-experience by taking related classes such as watershed management and environmental economics. All of my Professors were very supportive and inspiring. Outside of class, I also got myself involved in cultural and social activities. Studying and living in the US broadened my knowledge about agroforestry significantly, but more importantly, it helped me adapt to international environments, increased my communication skills, and trained me to become more proactive. I gained more confidence in my choice to pursue the research and academia path. Earlier this year, I received an opportunity to work as a researcher for Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in Germany while pursuing a Ph.D. (topic: smallholder farmers certification and replanting behavior in Indonesia).
I have too many great memories! My best experience was when all CIFOR-USAID fellows from the four Universities were invited for a workshop in Washington, D.C. We learned about each other’s research and experiences and then we went sightseeing around the city. I also had opportunities to visit many places in the US. I went to State College, PA and Portland, OR for conferences and presented my research there. In my free times, I went to explore the state of Missouri, visited many parks and lakes including the Lake of the Ozarks, I also went on several hikes with the Sierra Club.
“To me, being engaged with the program is indispensable. It enriched me in both knowledge and experience.”
Factors Contributing to Smallholder Farmers’ Perceived Resilience to Water Scarcity in South Sulawesi, Indonesia
Water scarcity in agriculture has been identified as one of the most prominent threats to the well-being of smallholder farmers. A study looking at factors affecting smallholder farmers resilience to water scarcity using The Five Capitals framework was conducted in Bantaeng District, Indonesia. The data collected were analyzed with a multinomial logistic model to determine which factors of the capitals have an impact on perceived resilience to water scarcity. Natural capital in the form of agroforestry and access to a direct water source, as well as social capital in the form of engagement in social groups are strongest factors increasing resilience to water scarcity. In addition, latent class analysis revealed four hidden subgroups where over half of the farmers (55%) are identified as learners who have strong positive views and attitudes towards ecosystem services. Our study suggests that understanding socio-ecological system, through determining factors contributing to resilience while also recognizing the profiles of smallholder farmers, may provide a baseline for efficient future interventions, as programs or initiatives could be tailored to target the subgroups that benefit most.