Malaysian Applied Biology Journal

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46_04_13

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Malays. Appl. Biol. (2017) 46(4): 111–118

WHAT IS THE MINIMUM RUBBER PRICE TO STOP FARMERS

CONVERTING OLD GROWTH FOREST INTO

SHIFTING CULTIVATION?

A CASE STUDY FROM PASAMAN DISTRICT,

WEST SUMATRA PROVINCE, INDONESIA

 

MAHDI and YONARIZA*

 

Faculty of Agriculture, Universitas Andalas, Kampus Unand, Limau Manis,

Padang 25161, West Sumatra – Indonesia


*Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Accepted 6 November 2017, Published online 31 December 2017

 

ABSTRACT

The use of shifting cultivation has been declining in recent decades as farmers moved towards sedentary farming systems. This research examined if shifting cultivation is continuing to be practiced and what factors affect farmers choosing to practice it. Using observation, key informant interviews and household surveys in an upland village of Pasaman District, West Sumatra Province, Indonesia this paper demonstrates that shifting cultivation has experienced a resurgence in recent years. The decline in global rubber price is driving this resurgence as farmers need shifting cultivation to meet their food security needs. This is leading to negative impacts on biodiversity and the provision of environmental goods and services as old growth forest is being converted into shifting cultivation. High rice yields then drive further conversion. Unless insurance is provided to farmers to insulate them against sudden changes in the rubber price, farmers will continue to exploit vulnerable natural resources as a livelihood strategy that mitigates their income decline and food shortage.

Key words: Environmental service, livelihood, rice, rubber, upland, Pasaman

 

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