Adoption of oil palm and effects on farm structures, gender roles, and nutrition

The land-use patterns in tropical lowland rainforest areas of Jambi have dramatically changed over the past decades. Plantation crops, especially oil palm and rubber, were expanded rapidly by large companies and also by smallholder farmers. Even though the expansion of plantation crops is often held responsible for major ecological and social problems, it has also increased the living standards of smallholder farmers who adopted these crops, as the household survey data collected by the C07 project in 2012 and 2015 clearly demonstrate. This research aims to look more thoroughly at the impacts of land-use change on household nutrition and other social welfare indicators. The existing household-level data will be used, complemented by a third round of the household survey to be carried out in 2018 and also by village-level data. Household nutrition will be measured through food consumption indicators and dietary diversity. Looking at dietary diversity is of particular interest. Even though agricultural production in Jambi is heavily focused on non-food cash crops, our data show that household diets are quite diverse on average. The research will analyze the role of own agricultural production and access to food markets to explain differences in dietary diversity. Beyond diets and nutrition, we will look at other indicators of social welfare, such as gender roles and household expenditures on education, health, energy, transportation, religious activities, and entertainment. Using all three rounds of the household survey, we will also be able to analyze dynamics in household welfare and their determinants.