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Sustainable agricultural intensification in forest frontier areas

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  • Miet Maertens
  • Manfred Zeller
  • Regina Birner

Abstract

The Lore Lindu region in Indonesia-as in many forest frontier areas in Southeast Asia-has experienced rapid deforestation due to agricultural expansion in the uplands, at the forest margins. This has resulted in aggravated problems of erosion and water availability, threatening agricultural productivity growth. At the same time, technical progress is promoting agricultural intensification in the lowlands. In this article, we examine how improved technologies for paddy rice cultivation in the lowlands have affected agricultural expansion and deforestation in the uplands. The question of a "forest-saving" or "forest-clearing" effect related to technical innovation is important from a sustainable development perspective and remains a controversial issue in the literature. We address this question for the Lore Lindu region with an empirical model in which expansion in the lowlands and the uplands is estimated simultaneously. We use data from an extensive village survey conducted in the region, combined with GIS data. To guide the empirical analysis, we develop a theoretical framework based on a Chayanov-type agricultural household model. The model analyzes farmers' land allocation decisions, taking into account the lowland-upland dichotomy in the agricultural sector. The empirical findings, corroborated by the analytically derived results, show how technical progress for lowland production affects land use at the forest margins and how these effects depend on the factor-intensity of the technology. The findings imply specific rural development policies for sustainable agricultural intensification in forest frontier areas. Copyright 2006 International Association of Agricultural Economics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its journal Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (03)
Pages: 197-206

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Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:34:y:2006:i:2:p:197-206

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Cited by:
  1. Gregmar Galinato & Suzette Galinato, 2010. "The Effects of Corruption Control and Political Stability on the Environmental Kuznets Curve of Deforestation-Induced Carbon Dioxide Emissions," Working Papers 2010-9, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
  2. Galinato, Gregmar I. & Galinato, Suzette P., 2013. "The short-run and long-run effects of corruption control and political stability on forest cover," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 153-161.
  3. Grimm, M. & Klasen, S., 2007. "Geography vs. institutions at the village level," ISS Working Papers - General Series 18745, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  4. Michael Grimm & Stephan Klasen, 2009. "Endogenous Institutional Change and Economic Development: A Micro-Level Analysis of Transmission Channels," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 14, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  5. Reetz, Sunny W.H. & Schwarze, Stefan & Bruemmer, Bernhard, 2012. "Poverty and Tropical Deforestation by Smallholders in Forest Margin Areas: Evidence from Central Sulawesi, Indonesia," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126326, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  6. Barbier, Edward B., 2012. "Natural capital, ecological scarcity and rural poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6232, The World Bank.
  7. Grimm, Michael & Klasen, Stephan, 2008. "Geography vs. institutions at the village level," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 70, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  8. Barbier, Edward B., 2013. "Structural change, dualism and economic development : the role of the vulnerable poor on marginal lands," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6456, The World Bank.

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