Intercropping in planted forests: improving the livelihood of smallholders in Central Kalimantan (Indonesia)
70 local farmers and their families in the districts Manuhing, Manuhing Raya und Rungan Barat in the county Gunung Mas in Central Kalimantan participate in this project. So far the farmers mostly make their living of subsistence economy and the sale of rubber. Due to fluctuating and generally low rubber prices the farmers only have a small income to their disposal, although they have a cash requirement for health, education, transportation and the purchase of food (mostly vegetables). Apart from shifting cultivation, the farmers have little experience with agriculture. The harvest from the planned intercropping in already established tree plantations contribute to an improvement of livelihoods and enable the farmers to receive a better income.
As available forest areas decrease and fire clearing is nowadays not tolerated in many places any longer, the farmers need support in building an organic agriculture including natural fertilization, complementary combination of plantings and fostering of the land. In a currently running program (1 Million Trees) farmers are being supported in planting fast growing wood species on such fields. The interspaces are suitable for intercropping vegetables, for example, and help the farmers to gain additional harvest during the circulation period of the trees while further enhancing those areas.
This project’s aim is to strenghten existing wood plantings by smallholders through intercropping into agro-forestry systems. Therefore, smallholders are able to harvest vegetables and other crops during the time of circulation of the trees and thus can on the one hand improve their own food supply and on the other hand raise their income by selling a part of their harvest. Possible crops for the use in the project area are corn, peanuts, soy, aubergines, water melons, bananas, onions, garlic, chillies and cassava. On each field at least one yearlong crop will be planted to achieve fast results. Particularly compostition and biochar are easy means to enable the planting of vegetables on infertile, degenerated soils.
03/2016 – 12/2016
Yayasan Borneo Institute
Financial support by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development