From rubber agroforestry to oil palm plantations in Sumatra, Indonesia: shifting gender roleswca2014-1453 Ratna Akiefnawati 1,*Grace Villamor 2,Ujjwal Pradhan 1 1World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Southeast Asia Regional Office, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Southeast Asia, Bogor, Indonesia, 2Center for Development Research (ZEF) , University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
In Indonesia, the island of Sumatra is one of the largest producers of rubber and oil palm. However, labor remains to be based on family labor where a clear division of labor in agricultural land between women and men is operating since time immemorial. Women are responsible for the rice fields, their backyard and house work while men are responsible for rubber production and marketing. However, globalization heightened the demand for oil palm and rubber and in turn affected the roles and responsibilities between men and women in Sumatra. In this paper, we present the result of the in-depth interviews of ten households heavily involved in rubber agroforestry and oil palm production. We describe their new roles and responsibilities using two types of agricultural models namely, 1) rubber agroforestry and 2) oil palm plantation. In our analysis, women have now significant roles in the rubber agroforestry model where firewood, medicinal plants and wild fruits are also produced for household consumption while men are very much involved in oil palm production.