The Paradox of Agrarian Change: Food Security and Politics of Social Protection in Indonesia

19 Januari 2023 - 10:39:42 | media_cpps

Yogyakarta – Economic growth growth in the middle-income countries of Southeast Asia over the last few decades is rightly hailed for reducing poverty, understood in both absolute and relative terms. Indonesia is a prime example. But while poverty has declined in Indonesia, one of its worst impacts—nutritional insecurity—remains high, particularly in rural areas. Patterns of food poverty persist across Indonesia, despite a fall in poverty rates. What explains this troubling paradox? How does it relate to Indonesia’s enthusiastic embrace of the “entitlements revolution”, the use of direct cash transfers as a tool for reducing poverty and building social inclusion? This book analyses the nature and social consequences of economic development and agrarian change processes in rural Indonesia in relation to the scope and effectiveness of Indonesia’s social protection programs.

The fndings are based on a series of extensive “ground-up” case studies in Indonesian communities in a variety of eco-agrarian settings, seeking to understand the drivers of insecurity and vulnerability at a household level. The results show that while highvalue farming, diversifcation and migration may offer a means of economic progress for poor households, economic growth also  creates the conditions for increasing inequality, nutritional insecurity and ecological decline. This is due to the way class, gender and power work in remote local contexts, and the fact that much surplus income is used for enhanced consumption and changing lifestyles. The authors suggest that to understand why  nutritional  insecurity and stunting patterns persist, we need to appreciate how rural change occurs. In many cases there are few signs of the classical structural transformation of the countryside which is considered the most decisive pathway out of rural poverty. The authors conclude that, while social assistance softens the experience of poverty, it is unlikely to counter the persistence of rural disadvantage, food insecurity and precarity, not without other redistributive strategies which shift the structural drivers of inequality. The richly detailed fndings in this study provide a novel multidimensional vision of processes of agrarian change. Its fndings are of crucial importance to Indonesian policymakers, but will also be of relevance to scholars and practitioners of rural development in other middle income countries seeking to address nutritional insecurity and livelihood vulnerability.

Edited John F. McCarthy; Andrew McWilliam; Garben Nooteboom
Tittle The Paradox of Agrarian Change: Food Security and Politics of Social Protection in Indonesia
Year 2023
Language English
ISBN 978-981-325-183-0
Published  NUS  Press

Link e-book Acknowledgements and part 1 of “The Paradox of Agrarian Change: Food Security and Politics of Social Protection in Indonesia”.