Rural pathways out of poverty – Cash crop farming as a driver of pro-poor growth

This paper sets out to investigate changes in cropping patterns and land use in the period from 2001 until 2013 at the rainforest margins in Lore Lindu, Central Sulawesi, and assess their interrelation with changes in household welfare. Between the period of 2001 and 2006, increases in household incomes were primarily attributed to increases in the value of agricultural production (both in terms of output and yields), and much less to an increase in the efficiency of agricultural production for a particular crop (Klasen, Priebe and Rudolf, 2013). Poorer households especially benefited from these increases in agricultural self-employment incomes, whereas increases in nonagricultural incomes were largely observed for richer households.

Relying on unique household panel data and using decomposition techniques that allow us to separate observed changes in household welfare into its main components, my analysis will assess the different contributions of agricultural and non-agricultural incomes to welfare changes up until 2013. Subsequently, changes in agricultural income are decomposed in terms of cropping patterns and land use.

In my thesis I will discuss the following questions: First, do notable changes in crop income emanate from changes in crop choice or crop management? What has been the cultivation strategy that contributed most to changes in crop income in the Lore Lindu region? And finally, can we identify certain tendencies towards land extensification or intensification, based on differences in household welfare?