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close this book Resource management for upland areas in Southeast Asia - An information kit
close this folder 2. Integrated upland systems management
View the document General systems overview
View the document Overview of agroforestry systems in Southeast Asia
View the document Design and management considerations for agroforestry systems
View the document Integrating local tree species into family farms
View the document Agroforestry systems in China
View the document Agroforestry systems in Indonesia
View the document Agroforestry systems in the Philippines
View the document Agroforestry systems in Thailand
View the document Agroforestry systems in Vietnam

Integrating local tree species into family farms

An experience from Sumba, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia

Swidden cultivators have traditionally relied upon both their gardens and the local forest to provide for their basic needs. Due to a variety of factors, many shifting cultivators are gradually turning to more sedentary forms of farming. Farmers making this transition often begin planting perennial cash crops in addition to their annual staple crops. However, these tree crops incorporated into their farming system cannot totally supplant the functions of the slowly disappearing natural forests.

In the province of Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) in Indonesia, many of the transition farmers working with Yayasan Tananua, a local farmers' organization, have been gradually planting trees to create "forests,, on sections of their own farms. These "family forests,,, or hutan keluarga, are planted with exotic trees and a variety of local forest species that traditionally provided the farm families with food, timber, fuelwood, herbal medicines and other useful products. These hutan keluarga have evolved into highly varied systems in terms of species composition and planting distances resulting from individual preferences and selection of each household.


Family forest

 

Examples of local tree species integrated in family forests (NTT, Indonesia)

 

Names

Scientific name

Use (parts used)

Sumbanese

Indonesia

   

Ha Moi Hua

_

_

traditional medicine (bark)

_

Melinjo

Gnetum gnemon

vegetables (leaves), snacks

     

(processed seed), rope material(bark)

Hureni

Suren

Toona sureni

timber/construction material(trunk)

Kaduru

Kayu Merah

Pterocarpus indicus

timber/construction material(trunk)

Kajiu

Cemara

Casuarina junghuhniana

timber/construction material(trunk)

Kajiu Omang

Cemara Hutan

Podocarpus imbricatus

timber/construction material(trunk)

Kaninggu

Kayu Manis

Cinnamomum zeylanicum

spice (bark), traditional medicine

Kayu Loba

_

_

cloth dye (bark)

Kiru

_

Dyxoxylum caulostachyum

timber/construction material(trunk)

Kombu

Mengkudu

Morinda citrifolia

cloth dye (bark)

Lamua

Mindi

Melia azedrach

timber/construction material(trunk)

Langira

_

Nauclea orientalis

timber/construction material (trunk)

Lobung

_

Decaspermium sp.

vegetable (leaves), food

     

ingredient (seed), timber/

     

construction material (trunk)

Mangata

_

_

timber/construction material (trunk)

Mangawa

Jabon

Anthocephalus cadambu

timber/construction material(trunk)

Mbaku Hau

Melur

Podocarpus amarus

timber/construction material(trunk)

Pau Omang

Mangga, kedipir

Mangifera indica, Mangifera gedebe

timber/construction material(trunk)

Tumbu Ndaba

Tumbaran

Neonauclea exelsa

timber/construction material(trunk)

Wihi Kaloki

_

Calophyllum soulattri

timber/construction material(trunk)

Wora

Bayur

Pterospermum diversifolium

cloth dye (bark)

 

Factors influencing adoption

When the hutan keluarga became popular in the island of Sumba during the late 1980s, it was expected that farmers would plant many of the local species from the natural forest on their own farms. This way, the original role of the forest in the traditional shifting farming system could be maintained. This, however, did not happen, most of the hutan keluarga that currently exist have only a few species endemic to the natural Sumbanese forest.

Reasons for not cultivating local species

· Planting materials of preferred local species are difficult to find and collect. On the other hand, planting materials of exotic or naturalized species are easily accessible from the market, the government or nongovernment organizations in the area.

· Some local species are hard to propagate.

· Farmers are not convinced that forest species can grow outside the natural forest.

· The perception that exotic species are "modern,, made some farmers prefer them over local species.

· Some farmers perceive that local species are not as valuable as exotics.

 

Difficulties encountered by farmers planting local species

· Collecting and transporting planting materials (saplings are most commonly used) from the forest to their farm is difficult and timeconsuming.

· Saplings from the forest need special care (watering, shading, wind protection, etc.) compared to naturalized or exotic species commonly grown in the locality.

· Local forest species have generally lower survival rates, despite the special care given to them.

· Most of the preferred local species have long growing cycles, e.g., first grade construction wood normally takes 10-1 5 years before it can be harvested.

Most transition farmers do want to plant more species from the natural forest to their hutan keluarga. However, incorporating local species, even among the more experienced and enthusiastic farmers, is still a matter of trial and error. Thus, the practice has spread only to a limited area. If incorporating the local forest species into the hutan keluarga is to be encouraged, the more problematic issues of access to planting materials and proper care and management practices need to be addressed.