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close this bookAgricultural Expansion and Pioneer Settlements in the Humid Tropics (UNU, 1988, 305 pages)
close this folder11. Ex-military settlements in Indonesia and the emergence of social differentiation in frontier areas
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentInitial efforts
View the documentEarly settlement pattern
View the documentThe Sapta Marga concept applied
View the documentTowards integration
View the documentConcluding remarks
View the documentReferences

Early settlement pattern

The early military settlements had the same pattern as the regular civilian ones (fig. 1). The post-war transmigration distinguishes itself from the pre-war colonization in terms of land allocation; from about 0.7 ha it was expanded to 2.0 ha based on the consideration that a farmer would need a larger plot in an upland area than a farmer on irrigated rice-field, which was the basic pattern before the Second World War under Dutch colonial administration. In cases in which all allocated land could not be cultivated, part would be reserved for the next generation of descendants who would remain in farming.

In the case of Sukohardjo, Central Lampung, in the early 1950s perennial cash crops such as coffee, rubber, and pepper were cultivated as well-practically all of which are also cultivated, or rather grown, partly in the wild by the indigenous shifting cultivators. This was done largely on the pieces of land which had been cleared but which the settlers were not able to cultivate properly with food crops. Among the crops mentioned, probably coffee was relatively most successful, perhaps because Javanese settlers were familiar with the crop. Rubber and pepper, however, were much less successful and the idea of increasing the cash income from these crops in fact largely failed.

The settlers were more interested in tapping rubber on nearby estates, where they could earn cash without having to cultivate the trees. The local people tap rubber trees growing on former shifting or swidden plots overgrown by brush; at the time the rubber trees were planted the plots were still being used for rice cultivation (Pelzer 1945).

FIG. 1. Basic and most widespread pattern of transmigration settlement

Planting various crops simultaneously, with quite different maturing periods, enables the shifting cultivator to have continuous benefits from all the crops, though in stages.

The original settlement pattern is characteristically dispersed and rectangular. The road network is composed of parallel main roads connected by similarly straight roads.

The houses of settlers are built along the main roads and along the connecting roads; the distances between houses vary from one settlement to another. Often an effort is made to prepare at least the first food crop lot as close to the house as possible, even adjacent to the yard. The second lot, however, is not, as a rule, close to the house, often causing serious problems in terms of protecting the crops from pests, weeding, etc., not to mention the time required for going to and from. During harvest, transportation from the field to the house may be a problem.

Another public facility usually provided by the project is the market square; though planned, its location is not always the most appropriate one. Apparently it is not easy to predict the development of commercial life in a new settlement area. Also of importance is how the surrounding area develops, what projects are implemented to accelerate development, etc.

In the CTN settlements, the settlers were not always concentrated in one settlement but were dispersed among civilian settlers. Yet, despite this effort of communal integration, many CTN settlers were not registered as inhabitants of their villages due to the differential treatment by the Defence Ministry. A proper transfer of all villages-irrespective of settlers' background-to the local administration after some time would solve such problems.

Thus, integration rather than exclusive treatment from the beginning is the lesson to be learnt from past experiences in the BRN and CTN projects.