Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Does ‘jungle rubber’ deserve its name? An analysis of rubber agroforestry systems in southeast Sumatra

Abstract

Jungle rubber is a blanced, diversified system derived from swidden cultivation, in which man-made forests with a high concentration of rubber trees replace fallows. Most of the income comes from rubber, complemented with temporary food and cash crops during the early years. Perennial species that grow spontaneously with rubber provide fruits, fuelwood and timber, mostly for household consumption. Jungle rubber enables lower incomes per land unit or man-day than weed-free plantations using selected rubber clones. Yet it requires much less input and labour since wild woody species protect rubber from grass weeds and mammalian predators. With a structure and biodiversity similar to that of secondary forest in its mature phase, jungle rubber belongs to complex agroforestry systems. It has accommodated increasing population densities, while preserving a forest-like environment.

Yet farmers' income from jungle rubber is declining due to the exhaustion of forest reserves and reduced land availability. New research and extension options could help in improving the productivity of jungle rubber. Better transportation and marketing are needed for increasing the income from non-rubber output. Short-term, small-scale credit schemes could help farmers adopt high-yielding rubber varieties. Research should participate in creating new management methods for selected rubber based on agroforestry to reduce maintenance costs, enabling smallholders to plant high-yielding rubber at lower cost, and without losing too much of the present biodiversity and economic diversity.

Résumé

Dérivées de l'essartage, les forêts à hévéa forment un système de culture équilibré et diversifié, où le recrû forestier est remplacé par une forêt anthropique à forte concentration d'hévéas. L'essentiel du revenu provient des hévéas, complétés par des cultures vivrières et commerciales pendant les premières années. Les espèces prérennes qui se développent spontanément avec les hévéas fournissent des fruits et du bois, principalement pour l'autoconsommation. Le revenu tiré de ce système est inférieur à celui de plantations d'hévéa clonal entretenues. Il nécessite cependant moins d'investissements en intrants et en travail grâce au rôle protecteur de courvert forestier vis-à-vis des adventices herbacées et des mannifères prédateurs. Avec une structure et une diversité d'espèces comparable à celles d'une forêt secondaire, ce système fait partie des agroforêts complexes. Il a fourni depuis 1910 l'essentiel du revenu d'une population en croissance rapide tout en préservant un environnement forestier.

Le revenu que tirent les paysans des forêts à hévéa est en déclin en raison de l'augmentation de la population. De nouvelles orientations de la recherche et du développement pourraient permettre d'améliorer la productivité de ce système. Le revenu tiré de la composante nonhévéa pourrait être augmenté grâce à une amélioration des transports et de la commercialisation. Le crédit à court terme et à petite échelle permettrait aux paysans d'adopter des variétés d'hévéa sélectionné et d'augmenter ainsi leurs revenus. La recherche devrait aider à mettre au point de nouvelles méthodes de gestion des hévéas sélectionnés, de type agroforestier, afin de réduire les coûts d'entretien. Les paysans purraient ainsi planter des hévéas hauts producteurs à moindres frais, et conserver partiellement la diversité économique et écologique du système actuel.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Anon (1987) Sensus Pertanian 1983, Buku 4. Biro Pusat Pertanian (BPS), Jakarata

  2. Anon (1989a) Sumatera Selantan dalam Angka. BPS, Palembang, Indonesia

  3. Anon (1989b) Kumpulan Makalah Lokakarya Nasional Pembangunan Hutan Tanaman Industri. Medan, 28–30/08/1989, Dep. Kehutanan

  4. Anon (1990a) Jambi dalam Angka. BPS, Jambi, Indonesia

  5. Anon (1990b) Situtation and outlook of the forestry sector in Indonesia. Volume 3: forest resource utilization. Directorate General of Forest Utilization and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Jakarta

  6. Anon (1992) Rubber wood—some more calculations. IRRDB (International Rubber Research and Development Board) Information Quarterly, 1992 (1): 6–7

  7. Bank Indonesia (1992) Laporan Peluang Investasi Perlusasan dan Rehabilitasi Perkebunan Karet Rakyat di Kabupaten Musi Banyusasin Sumatera Selatan, Regional Project Management Unit, Proyek Pengembangan Usaha Kecil, Bank Indonesia, Palembang

  8. Barlow C and Drabble J (1990) Government and the emerging rubber industries in Indonesia and Malaysia, 1900–40. In: Booth A, O'Malley WJ and Weidemann A, eds, Indonesian Economic History in the Dutch Economic Era, pp 187–209. Yale University Press, New Haven

  9. Barlow C and Jayasuriya SK (1986) Stages of development in tree crop agriculture. Development and Change 17: 635–658

  10. Barlow C and Muharminto (1982) The rubber smallholder economy. Bull. of Indonesian Econ Studies 18 (2): 87–119

  11. Barlow C, Shearing C and Dereinda R (1989) Alternative approaches to smallholder rubber development. Center for Policy and Implementation Studies, Jakarta

  12. Bennett CPA, Quizon J and Mawardi SH (1991) New policies for older rubber: policy issues related to rubber replanting by self-reliant smallholders in Indonesia. National Meeting on Replanting Strategies for Smallholder Rubber, Palembang, 29–30 May 1991, Research Institute for Estate Crops (RIEC) Sembawa

  13. Cottrell A (1990) Smallholder rubber planters in Sumatera Selatan: a case study in technological change. PhD Thesis, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Queensland, Australia

  14. De Foresta H (1992) Botany contribution to the understanding smallholder rubber plantations in Indonesia: an example from South Sumatra. Paper presented at the workshop ‘Sumatra: environment and development’, BIOTROP, Bogor, 16–18 September 1992

  15. De Foresta H and Michon G (1990) Complex Agroforestry Systems and Conservation of Biological Diversity. Part 2: For a larger use of traditional agroforest trees as timber in Indonesia, a link between environmental conservation and economic development. In: Proceedings of the symposium ‘In Harmony with Nature’, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  16. De Foresta H and Michon G (1991a) Etablissement et gestion des agroforêts paysannes en Indonésie, quelques enseignements pour l'Afrique forestière. In press for the Proceedings of the International Unesco Symposium on Food and Nutrition in the Tropical Forest: Biocultural Interactions and Application to Development, Paris, UNESCO, 10–13 September 1991

  17. De Foresta H and Michon G (1991b) La voie agroforestière, ou comment allier protection des bois durs, conservation du milieu et développment rural en zone tropicale humide. Voluntary paper for the Xth World Forestry Congress, Paris, 17–26 September 1991

  18. Directorate General for Estates (DGE) (1991) Peremajaan Karet Rakyat: Tuntutan, kendala. peluang dan pendekatannya. Diskusi Nasional Pola Peremajaan Karet Rakyat, Palembang, 29–30 May 1991, RIEC Sembawa

  19. Dove MR (1980) Symbiotic relationships between human populations and Imperata cylindrica: The question of ecosystem succession and preservation in South Kalimantan. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Conservation Inputs from Life Sciences, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, 27–30 October, Bangi, Selangor

  20. Dove MR (1985) Swidden agriculture in Indonesia. Mouton, Berlin

  21. Freeman JD (1955) Iban agriculture: a report on the shifting cultivation of hill rice by the Iban of Sarawak. Colonial Office, London

  22. Geertz C (1966) Agricultural involution: the process of ecological change in Indonesia. University of California Press, Berkeley

  23. Geertz H (1963) Indonesian cultures and communities. In: McVey R, ed, Indonesia, pp 24–96. Yale University Press, New Haven

  24. Gouyon A (1991) Farming and social changes in South Sumatra: an historical perspective. Seminar given at the International Study Group and Society for International Development, Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, 23/01/1991

  25. Gouyon A and Nancy C (1989) Increasing the productivity of smallholder rubber in Indonesia: a study of agro-economic constraints and proposals., In: Proceedings, Rubber Research Inst of Malaysia Rubber Growers' Conference 1989, Malacca, 21–23/08/1989, pp 587–613

  26. Gouyon A, Nancy C, Hendratno S and Supriadi M (1991) Potensi penggunaan dan pengembangan bahan tanam karet unggul di Propinsi Sumatera Selatan, Jambi, Bengkulu dan Kalimantan Selatan. RIEC Sembawa Monthly Seminar, 02/03/1991, Palembang, Indonesia

  27. Gouyon A, Nancy C, Supriadi M and Hendratno S (1990) Penggunaan bahan tanam karet di tingkat petani dan respon penawaran dari pengusaha pembibitan. In: Proceedings of the National Rubber Conference 1990, Palembang, 19–21/09/1990, Indonesian Planters' Association for Research and Development (IPARD), pp 791–823

  28. Hendratno S and Haryani N (1991) Statistik Karet Indonesian, Buku I. Puslitbun Sembawa, Palembang

  29. Hobohm S (1990) Natural rubber: prospects for the 1990s. Special Report No 2038. The Economist Intelligence Unit, London

  30. Hirsch R (1990) Etude comparative des coûts de production du caoutchouc dans les grandes plantations en Afrique et en Asie. Tome II: Rapport principal. Caisse Centrale de Coopération Economique (CCCE), Paris

  31. Keli JZ and De La Serve M (1988) Association temporaire hévéa-vivriers en basse Côted'Ivoire. Revue Générale des Caoutchoucs et Plastiques. No 679: 95–106

  32. Kheowvongsri P (1990) Les jardins à hévéa des contreforts orientaux des Bukit Barisan, Sumatra, Indonésie. MSc Thesis, University des Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc, Montpellier, France

  33. Landell Mills Commodity Studies (1986) Natural rubber: a chronic glut? LMCS, London

  34. Landell Mills Commodity Studies (1990) Marketing Indonesian rubber. Prepared for Tim Khusus Perkebunan Inti Rakyat (TK PIR). Directorate General for Estates, Jakarata

  35. Laumonier Y (1991) Végétation de Sumatra: écologie, flore, phytogéographie. Toulouse, Université Paul Sabatier. Thèse de Doctorate d'Etat

  36. Laumonier Y, Gadrinal A and Purnadjaja (1988) Vegetation map of Sumatra, 1: South Sumatra. SEAMEO/BIOTROP. Institut de la Carte Internationale du Couvert Végétal

  37. Levang P (1991) Jachère arborée et culture sur brûlis dans les îles extérieures de l'archipel indonésien. In: La Jachère en Afrique de l'Ouest, Atelier International, ORSTOM, Montpellier, 3–5/12/1991

  38. Levang P and De Foresta H (1991) Economic plants of Indonesia: a Latin, Indonesian, French and English dictionary of 728 species. ORSTOM and SEAMEO-BIOTROP, Bogor

  39. Lim Sow Ching (1969) An agro-economic study of inter-crop on rubber smallholdings. Economics and Planning Division: Report No. 6. Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRIM), Kuala Lumpur

  40. Michon G (1985) De l'homme de la forêt au paysan de l'arbre: agroforesteries indonésiennes. PhD Thesis, University des Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc, Montpellier, France

  41. Michon G, Bompard JM, Ducatillion C, Hecketsweiler, P (1983) Tropical forest architectural analysis as applied to agroforests in the humid tropics: the example of traditional village agroforests in West Java. Agroforestry Systems (2): 117–130

  42. Michon G and De Foresta (1990) Complex Agroforestry Systems and Conservation of Biological Diversity. Part 1: Agroforestry in Indonesia, a link between two worlds. In: Proceedings of the Symposium ‘In Harmony with Nature’, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  43. Michon G, Mary F, Bompard JM (1986) Multistoried agroforestry garden system in West Sumatra. Agroforestry Systems 4: 315–338

  44. Nancy C, Gouyon A, Anwar Ch and Negri M (1989) Perspective d'amélioration de la filière caoutchouc naturel en Indonésie: Analyse de la filière et comportement des agents. In: Xe séminaire d'Economie et Sociologie: ‘Economie des filières en régions chaudes’, CIRAD, Montpellier, France, 11–15 September 1989, pp 805-828

  45. Pelzer K (1945) Pioneer Settlement in the Asiatic Tropics. Special Publication No. 29. American Geographical Society, New York

  46. Nair PKR, ed, (1989) Agroforestry Systems in the Tropics. Kluwer Academic Publishers and ICRAF, Dordrecht

  47. Rosyid MJ, Wibawa G and Gozali AD (1986) a new method of land management for rubber smallholder in Indonesia. Proceedings, 6th Seminar and Workshop on Progress and Development of Rubber Smallholders, Palembang, Indonesia, 22–26/07/1988, Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC)

  48. Scholz U (1983) The Natural Regions of Sumatra and their Agricultural Production Pattern, A Regional Analysis. Volume I. Central Research Institute for Food Crops (CRIFC), Bogor

  49. Scholz U (1988) Map of land use systems in Sumatra. University of Giessen Dept of Geography, Giessen, Germany

  50. Sumana, Dereinda R, Nur Ridha M and Achdiansyah S (1991) Pendaptan dan motivasi petani dalam penjualan kayu karet tebangan. Paper presented at the National Meeting on Replanting Strategies for Smallholder Rubber, Palembang, 29–30 May 1991, Research Institute for Estate Crops of Sembawa

  51. Sutrisno and Sastrosoedarjo S (1976) The influence of upland rice (Oryza sativa L) and corn (Zea mays L) as cash crops on the growth of young rubber. Menara Perk 44(1): 3–9 (in Indonesian)

  52. Thomas KD (1957) Smallholder Rubber in Indonesia. University of Indonesia, Jakarta

  53. Thomas KD (1965) Shifting cultivation and the production of smallholder rubber in a south Sumatran village, Malayan Econ Rev 10(1): 100–115

  54. Tomich TP (1989) Smallholder rubber development in Indonesia. Development Discussion Paper No 306. Harvard Institute for International Development, Cambridge, USA

  55. Torquebiau E (1984) Man made Dipterocarp forest in Sumatra., Agroforestry Systems 2(2): 103–108

  56. Whitten AJ, Damanik SJ, Anwar J and Hisyam M (1984) The Ecology of Sumatra. Gadjah Mada University Press, Yogyakarta

  57. World Bank (1989) Indonesia: Strategies for sustainable development of tree crops. Tome. I: Main Report. Report No. 7696-IND, Country Department V, Asia Regional Office. World Bank, Washington, DC

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gouyon, A., de Foresta, H. & Levang, P. Does ‘jungle rubber’ deserve its name? An analysis of rubber agroforestry systems in southeast Sumatra. Agroforest Syst 22, 181–206 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00705233

Download citation

Key words

  • Indonesia
  • Sumatra
  • smallholder
  • rubber
  • fruit trees
  • timber
  • firewood
  • agroforestry
  • farming system
  • economics