Between land grabbing and farmers' benefits: Land transfers in West Kalimantan, Indonesia
SourceAsia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 15, 4, (2014), pp. 376-390
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
Rapid growth of oil palm cultivation in West Kalimantan, Indonesia has increased both the pace and size of land transfers from farmers to big companies and city-based investors. This process has been widely conceptualised as 'top-down land grabbing' but this perspective largely neglects the agency of the farmers. This paper seeks to shed light on the agency of farmers with respect to how they respond to land transfer schemes. Through a study of land transfers under nucleus estate schemes (NES), schemes that were introduced by the Indonesian government in which smallholding farms are integrated parts of a modern, large size plantation company, we will show that agrarian dynamics are shaped by notions of what is 'fair' and 'just'.
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