KAM KTI - Agroforestry in Indonesia
Helping Indonesian farmers to gain a better price for their timber harvests and provide for their families with agroforestry systems
KAM KTI - Probolinggo, East Java, Indonesia
In East Java, Indonesia, KSU Alas Mandiri KTI (KAM KTI) is a co-operative managing 1,004.55 ha (hectares) of forested land, created in response to widespread forest clearance, and illegal logging and harvesting.
What’s the issue?
Due to historic uncontrolled forest clearance for commercial timber such as mahogany and teak, the Probolinggo region of East Java has been part of a government initiative to replant and increase forested areas in an attempt to limit or reverse the amount of land converted to farming. The replanting and illegal logging or harvesting of these areas by local groups has been uncontrolled, resulting in intensive harvesting activities and monoculture timber crops with little biodiversity; this causes erosion, soil compaction and increased run off, which contributes to flash flooding.
Created in response to the environmental impacts, the co-operative consists of 1,296 farmers who are organised by region into 30 groups, each one headed by a member who represents them and attends annual training – an event put on by KAM KTI, where the representatives receive training that can then be disseminated to their local groups. The co-operative also manage and distribute PPE, control any chemical usage, and keep hold of all records of land use, preparation, harvesting and others that are relevant to legal obligations/certification.
How Soil Association Certification Forestry is helping KAM KTI and its members
The creation of KAM KTI and its structure of forestry management has enabled it to become a consistent source of reliable quality FSC timber, and they have been certified by the Soil Association Certification Forestry team since 2008. By certifying with us, the co-op has access to better prices and support from the start - Mutu Certification International, an agent working on behalf of SA Cert in Indonesia, provided the certification for KAM KTI: http://mutucertification.com/.
To enable saw mills used in timber harvesting to be run by the community, KAM KTI provides the tree seedlings free of charge, and also provides and maintains the saw mill machinery. During the training, they offer advice on planting, care and harvesting, and encourage farmers to diversify into subsistence crops as part of an agroforestry system that will sustain them financially and delay the need for timber harvesting. Timber harvesting is now planned and organised, not carried out as part of an on-demand system.
KAM KTI regulates the timber price received by farmers - preventing them from going too high - and distributes 40% of the profit fund amongst members at its annual meeting. The prices they pay are 30 to 70 Indonesian Rupiah higher than the market average, and payment is made to the members within a week of harvest.
The co-operative then sells its timber to PT Kutai Timber Indonesia (PT KTI) where it is used to create door frames, plywood, biofuel pellets and even the dust created is sold, mainly to the Japanese market where requirements for reliably sourced FSC certified timber is increasing.
The economic benefits are now visible in the villages of members through improved housing, transportation and education, and they are also recognised by wider stakeholders.
Membership of certified farming groups is respected by the wider community and members are proud of the association. The agroforestry/subsistence crops that they grow include coffee, white tea, banana, chili, bamboo, corn, avocado, cloves, ginger, taro, as well as raising livestock. To increase slope stability, areas liable to slip or erosion are selectively thinned and underplanted with elephant grass, and the condition of these areas is monitored by members and replanted as needed. These agroforestry techniques provide food and income for the farmers in between harvesting timber crops, which is something they would not usually have access to.
Recently, timber harvesting has changed from 30cm dbh (diameter at breast height) to 40cm dbh, evidence of the successful adoption of agroforestry as a means of subsistence and reducing the time pressure on timber harvesting. Sengon (Paraserianthes falcataria) is the dominant timber species, harvested every 6-8 years, with areas underplanted with mahogany and teak, a longer rotation crop harvested every 15 years.
Through becoming FSC certified, the members of KAM KTI are ensuring that their profits continue to increase, as well as providing raised living standards and an improved quality of life. The biodiversity in their locality has also greatly improved, achieved through a growing awareness of the human impact on their surroundings and the deforestation from illegal logging, as well the implementation of agroforestry.
(See the FSC article published October 2016 for previously published facts/figures/background etc: https://ic.fsc.org/en/news-updates/id/1683.)