Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 65–82

Tree planting on deforested farmlands, Sewu Hills, Java, Indonesia: Impact of economic and institutional changes

  • J. W. Nibbering


This paper analyses how farmers in the Sewu Hills, a limestone hill complex in Java, were led to grow trees on their holdings. In the past, the area had been notorious for its deforestation, soil erosion and poverty. A historical analysis of change in land use in the area bears out a number of factors that were conducive to these changes: increased crop productivity, depletion of forest resources, better marketing opportunities for tree products, greater security of the trees and increased non-agricultural employment opportunities. Tree planting campaigns launched by the government provided the population with important incentives, establishing a critical mass of farmers adopting tree growing. Trees and their products have diversified, buffered and expanded household economies in the Sewu Hills. Yet it remains to be seen whether the system can withstand the economic and social pressures the area is facing today. A historical, multi-level analysis of land use adds considerably to cross-sectional studies in understanding what causes farmers to grow trees on their fields.

agricultural development land degradation land-use history tree planting campaigns 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. W. Nibbering
    • 1
  1. 1.NWFP Forestry Sector ProjectPeshawarPakistan

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