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Pursuing Livelihoods, Imagining Development

Pursuing Livelihoods, Imagining Development: Smallholders in Highland Lampung, Indonesia

Ahmad Kusworo
Volume: 9
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    Pursuing Livelihoods, Imagining Development
    Book Description:

    This monograph explores the ways in which people experience ‘development’ and how development shapes and maintains their lives. The discussion begins with Lampung Province, moves to one of the province’s highland regions, and ends in a village in this highland region. Colonial and post-colonial initiatives drove the transformation of Lampung in the twentieth century bringing mixed results and effects including rapid growth in agricultural production, the formation of ‘wealthy zones’ in some areas, and the creation of pockets of poverty in other areas. In Sumber Jaya and the highlands of Way Tenong, migrants have transformed one of Lampung’s last frontier regions into one of its ‘wealthy zones’. Although the bulk of these migrants migrated spontaneously, they were integrated within the framework of planned development. The level of progress that the region has achieved is largely the result of villagers’ efforts to bring state resources to the village. In conflict with forestry authorities for decades, farmers in some villages have agreed to establish a new relationship with authorities, but the struggle for control over land resources continues.

    eISBN: 978-1-925021-48-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    James J. Fox

    A strategic perspective is the key to shaping a well-focused ethnography. In this volume,Pursuing Livelihoods, Imagining Development, Ahmad Kusworo has developed a perspective that allows his analysis to shift effectively from province to region to village area, at each stage enhancing the overall argument.

    At the provincial level, this ethnography presents a superb examination of the transformation of Lampung in Sumatra. Within the context of this historical transformation, the ethnography shifts focus to the specific transformation of a frontier region of Lampung and then concentrates on a fine-grained examination of local rural development – how cultivators of mixed backgrounds...

  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Glossary
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
  6. 1. Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)

    This monograph examines the ways in which people experience ‘development’ and how it can shape and influence their lives. The book will explore forces that can drive change and some consequences of these forces, including ways people cope with change. The region of focus is Lampung, the southernmost province of Sumatra, Indonesia. The approach explores local understandings within a local and regional context.

    My exploration begins at the provincial level, moves to one of the province’s highland regions, and concludes at a selected highland village. The increasing narrowness of geographical focus provides an opportunity to look at development on a...

  7. 2. Lampung in the Twentieth Century: The Making of ‘Little Java’
    (pp. 17-40)

    Like many areas in Indonesia’s outer islands, up until the mid-1900s Lampung was a sparsely populated, virtually ‘empty’ land. Lampung was known as the world’s leading pepper producer. By the end of the twentieth century, Lampung produced surpluses of rice and other agricultural commodities along with pepper. The province was classified as extremely poor and, like Java, had an overpopulation problem. This chapter examines the driving forces behind these changes. Colonial and post-colonial government development initiatives such as land alienation and consequent forestry and other plantation establishment, decentralisation of administration, regional development, transmigration, and spontaneous migration are all identified as...

  8. 3. Creating a ‘Wealthy Zone’: Sumber Jaya and the Way Tenong Highland
    (pp. 41-72)

    Colonial and post-colonial government initiatives in the twentieth century brought mixed results in the Lampung Province in the form of poor zones in some areas and ‘wealthy zones’ in others. West Lampung was one of the province’s least developed districts. However, a few regions in this ‘undeveloped’ district — Krui on the coast and Liwa (with adjoining Way Tenong and Sumber Jaya) in the eastern highlands — amply qualify as ‘wealthy zones’. This chapter focuses on the creation of Way Tenong and Sumber Jaya which have become the province’s most wealthy zones.

    Indigenous populations are still relatively dominant in a...

  9. 4. Local Politics: Bringing the State to the Village
    (pp. 73-92)

    Sumber Jaya and Way Tenong have been the targets of constant national, regional, and local political manoeuvering to control its population. There are clear indications of deep state penetration into the villages. Local people are increasing their efforts, through their village leaders, to expand state participation in the village as a strategy to tap state resources and put their village in the mainstream of national and regional politics. These processes have led to the emergence of politically powerful village elites whose power is still both limited and circumvented due to villagers’ ability to develop procedures that constrain the emergence of...

  10. 5. Resource Control, Conflict, and Collaboration
    (pp. 93-110)

    After discussing the ways in which villagers bring the state into the village in the last chapter, this chapter will explore the ways in which villagers in Sumber Jaya and Way Tenong have resisted or accommodated government attempts to exert greater control over people and resources. As Peluso, Vandergeest and Potter (1995) have noted, one of the social trends in the political economy and political ecology of forestry in colonial and post-colonial Southeast Asia has been the consolidation of state power over forest resources, labour and territory. Furthermore, government attempts at forest control have created conflict between state agencies and...

  11. 6. Gunung Terang: Social Organisation of a Migrants’ Village
    (pp. 111-138)

    In Indonesia, legally each person and each parcel of land has to be integrated within an administrative village. This requirement was imposed by colonial administrations in Java (Breman 1982; Tjondronegoro 1984) and further strengthened in the post-colonial era. This nationwide integration was achieved by the introduction of theNational Village Lawof 1979, which imposed the adoption of a Javanese style administrative village (desa) throughout the archipelago. Within this context, ordinary Indonesian villagers were seen as members of an administrative community.

    After discussing the region of Sumber Jaya and Way Tenong in the previous chapters, this chapter and the next...

  12. 7. Social Stratification in Gunung Terang
    (pp. 139-152)

    Farming is the main occupation and source of income for most of the villagers of Gunung Terang. The few other occupations in the village include those of teacher, shopkeeper, reseller of farm produce, mechanic, builder, and car or motorbike taxi (ojek)driver. The proportion of villagers engaged in such off-farm work is relatively small — perhaps no more than 5 per cent. For most of those engaged in such activities, farming is still important, either as a primary or a secondary source of income.

    When they were asked about the economic conditions of the families in the village, villagers often...

  13. 8. The Farming Economy in Gunung Terang
    (pp. 153-166)

    One of the key factors observed in relation to socio-economic differentiation in the village was ownership or control of the land. Poor villagers were landless or nearly landless, and included recent migrants and younger generation villagers who had not yet inherited their parents’ land. They cultivated other people’s fields or possessed only a small plot of land. A few of them owned or controlled a relatively large area of land but did not have the capital to develop productive cultivation. While some wealthy households controlled extensive areas of cultivated land, land ownership in itself was not a factor in household...

  14. 9. Conclusion
    (pp. 167-176)

    The evidence presented in this monograph illustrates the flexibility of smallholder farmers’ responses to constraints and opportunities. With attractive export coffee prices over the previous two decades, smallholders in Sumber Jaya and Way Tenong had allocated available labour and capital to intensive robusta coffee farming. Following the drop in coffee prices after the 1997–98 monetary crisis (krismon), labour and non-labour inputs to coffee farming were gradually reduced. Although the returns to land from coffee farming decreased, the return to labour remained attractive. Compared with coffee, vegetable farming provided higher production per unit of land and per unit of labour,...

  15. References
    (pp. 177-182)