Swidden, Oil Palm, and Food Security in West Kalimantan

  • Lesley Potter


Concerns about rising prices of staple foods continue to be voiced by many observers, with the UN food-price index now surpassing even the peaks of the 2008 food crisis, which prompted civil disturbances in Indonesia. Much of the current concerns about rising food prices are not only about food availability—with harvests affected this year by extreme weather—but also about access to food. This paper examines the food security situation in rural West Kalimantan, especially in Sanggau district, looking at three aspects: the traditional agricultural system of the largely Dayak population, the impact of cash cropping for oil palm and rubber, and the effects of the price crash in 2008-2009.


Indonesia; food access; staple food; West Kalimantan; palm oil