Sustainability analysis of farming systems in tidal swamplands: a case study in South Kalimantan, Indonesia

Nuri Yanti

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    379 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] The initial success of the Green Revolution notwithstanding, the ability of our planet to produce sufficient food to support its growing population is causing growing concern. Indonesia, like many other countries, cannot produce sufficient rice to feed its people. This creates an imperative to import rice that Indonesia wishes to overcome. In addition, agricultural intensification has created ecological contamination from overuse and the mismanagement of chemical inputs. These problems threaten the sustainability of agricultural lands and Indonesia's ability to support national food selfsufficiency. The extension of agricultural lands is one alternative that has been implemented by the Indonesian government for more than two decades. Families from the crowded islands of Java and Bali have been translocated to the outer islands of Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua. In South Kalimantan, the tidal swampland areas are one of the resettlement destinations; which are usually reclaimed for the purpose of increasing rice production. However, the difference between the natural characteristics, socialeconomics, language, and culture in South Kalimantan, compared with the homelands of the transmigrant farmers, has the potential to adversely affect the farming activities of both the transmigrant and the local indigenous farmers. This in turn might affect the sustainability of the tidal wetlands for agricultural production. It may also damage the ecological integrity of the coastal environment ... The research findings indicate that farming practices by the groups differed significantly. Similarly, there was a significant difference between the cultivation of traditional rice varieties and the HYV. Farming practices performed by the indigenous local farmers, who have lived in the swamplands for centuries, were more ecologically sustainable than those of their transmigrant counterparts in both of the tidal swamplands being assessed. Likewise, traditional (indigenous) rice variety cultivation appears to be more sustainable than the HYVs. Among the socio-economic and agronomic influences of the farming practices selected for statistical analysis, only the non-formal education variable had a significant impact on the sustainability index. Tidal swampland Type B has lower yields than Type A, but in both swampland types, indigenous farmers produce higher yields than the transmigrant farmers, while the HYV has a higher yield over the traditional one. Indigenous farmers received higher financial returns per ha compared to the transmigrant returns in tidal swampland Type A and Type B. The higher yields produced by the HYVs are not accompanied by a higher financial return per ha compared to the traditional variety. The conclusions of this research are that not only are indigenous farming practices more sustainable but that indigenous farmers achieve a higher overall output and higher returns per ha from their farming activities. Future research should be formulated to further investigate the implications for both increasing rice production and sustainability by extending the use of indigenous farming systems. The sustainability index developed in this research should be investigated for adaptation in other areas of Indonesia and possibly by other farming areas internationally.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2007


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