University of Twente Student Theses


Farming practices and their water use in the Getas-Ngandong Forests : towards a better understanding of stakeholders'perceptions of the effects of agroforestry and monocropping systems on water use

Rijneveld, R. (2019) Farming practices and their water use in the Getas-Ngandong Forests : towards a better understanding of stakeholders'perceptions of the effects of agroforestry and monocropping systems on water use.

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Abstract:In 2017 the government of Indonesia entrusted the Getas-Ngandong forests (also referred to as KHDTK), located on Java, Indonesia, to be managed by UGM from 2017 to 2037. The area is utilised for the planting of teak and for farming. Local farmers use both agroforestry and monocropping systems to cultivate their crops. However, in the current situation, they are threatened by water- related problems, such as unreliable water availability, droughts, and floods. Consequently, it is crucial to correctly manage the water use of farming practices to maximise their productivity and efficiency. Because stakeholders’ involvement is needed, considering their perceptions is relevant to planning actions for the management and development of KHDTK. This project describes the current situation of the farming practices and it then identifies stakeholder perceptions on the water issue to contribute to the management and development of KHDTK. The study area of this thesis project consists of the village area of Getas and Pitu covering 32% of the KHDTK area. The farming communities in both Getas and Pitu have a high dependency on state forests. In Getas, most agroforestry systems are applied in state forests. However, Pitu depends less on state forests and applies agroforestry systems in both state forests and community-owned forests. In both Getas and Pitu maize, sugarcane, and rice are the most grown crops in agroforestry systems and monocropping systems. Furthermore, farmers in Getas and Pitu generally have a rainfed agriculture. Thus, during the dry season or periods of drought, there is often no farming activity, unless farmers use irrigation systems. Consequently, in the rainy season the attitude to water availability is positive and in the dry season primarily negative. However, the presence of springs provides opportunities to use irrigation systems in both areas, but farmers in Pitu can also irrigate from the Bengawan Solo river. This partly accounts for the more positive attitude of Pitu farmers compared to Getas farmers to general water availability. Additionally, crops such as maize and sugarcane are generally cultivated on hilly areas, so floods do not influence these farming lands. Farmers tend to plant wet rice fields in monocropping systems in valleys or near flood sensitive rivers while dry rice fields are often cultivated in agroforestry systems. Consequently, lands with monocropping systems are situated closer to a river and thus farmers with monocropping systems have a more positive attitude towards water availability than farmers with agroforestry systems. The key stakeholders that are related to the water issues in the study area are the village communities of Getas and Pitu, the local governments, the previous and current managers of the area, and the watershed office. Among all stakeholders there is consensus on some hydrological benefits of agroforestry systems, such as increased regional water availability, and reduced risk of floods and surface runoff. Also, there is a general confidence that trees and crops do not compete for available soil water. Beyond this consensus, three perceptions are identified that express distinct attitudes regarding the water use of farming practices. The first perception strongly states that monocropping systems have a higher water use than agroforestry systems, while the second perception states the opposite. The third perception is reluctant to assign the extent of water use to a specific system, and states that factors such as species and planting pattern define water use. Furthermore, the first and third perception are confident that agroforestry systems are a good application for soil and water conservation, yet the second perception reveals a more sceptical attitude. Each stakeholder group represents two or even all three perceptions. Thus, within and between stakeholder groups there are contradicting beliefs of the effects of agroforestry and monocropping systems on water use. As for the management of the area, it is not possible to address the stakeholder groups in one specific manner, since each group represents several perceptions. Within stakeholder groups there are different knowledge levels and stakeholders believe in contradicting benefits or disadvantages of farming practices. Therefore, it is important to carefully identify those beliefs that are true and those that are based on myths. Then, for the development of the area the water use of agroforestry and monocropping systems should be quantified and the optimal combination of crops and trees in the Getas and Pitu should be explored. Furthermore, UGM favours agroforestry systems and the farming communities of Getas and Pitu both recognize some benefits of agroforestry systems. This could be used as a basis to encourage the communities to apply more agroforestry systems and thus preventing them from changing forest areas into monoculture areas. However, it should be very clear to the farming communities why the conservative benefits of agroforestry systems are surpassing the disadvantages of a higher water use and subsequent lower crop yield. KHDTK forest management aims to maximise the productivity and efficiency of the forest and forest- farming systems to increase community welfare. UGM will achieve this by including research activities and participation of all stakeholders in the management and development of KHDTK. In the future, the specific (hydrological) claims and functions of forests and monocropping and agroforestry practices should be investigated thoroughly. This should be done in the Getas and Pitu area, but also in other KHDTK areas. Next, this study focuses on the water availability in the study area and water use of the farming practices, but other studies could be conducted focusing on other elements. For example, the influence of tree species or soil conditions on the productivity and efficiency of the forest and forest-farming systems could be investigated. Furthermore, the identified perceptions reveal a consensus among stakeholders, but also pinpoint divergent attitudes. These can guide awareness- raising campaigns and assist in the process of including stakeholders in the management and development of the area.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering BSc (56952)
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