Vol. 115 No. 1 (2021)
Research Papers

How farmer characteristics and dimensions of resilience correlate with farmers’ ability to recover from shocks: a case study of Indonesian palm oil smallholders

Nia Kurniawati Hidayat
Faculty of Economics and Management, Department of Resources and Environmental Economics, Institut Pertanian Bogor, Indonesia
Astrid Offermans
International Centre for Integrated Assessment and Sustainable development (ICIS), Maastricht University, the Netherlands
Pieter Glasbergen
International Centre for Integrated Assessment and Sustainable development (ICIS), Maastricht University, the Netherlands
Published June 29, 2021
How to Cite
Hidayat, N. K., Offermans, A., & Glasbergen, P. (2021). How farmer characteristics and dimensions of resilience correlate with farmers’ ability to recover from shocks: a case study of Indonesian palm oil smallholders. Journal of Agriculture and Environment for International Development (JAEID), 115(1), 31-58. https://doi.org/10.12895/jaeid.20211.1192

Abstract

Most studies on the effects of certification on smallholders’ livelihood emphasize vulnerability while neglecting resilience. This paper assesses the farmer resilience of five different types of palm oil smallholders in Indonesia. We use and apply Speranza’s (2014) framework to assess and understand farmer resilience. We conclude that the correlations between buffer capacity, learning capacity, and resilience are rather weak. Our results further reveal that palm oil smallholders are relatively resilient to price declines, haze from forest fires and El Niño. The differences in resilience between the smallholder groups are small, although certified smallholders collaborating with companies and NGOs seem to be more resilient than uncertified smallholders collaborating with middlemen. The terminated Nucleus Estate Smallholder (NES) system allowed farmers to meet these favourable conditions. A few new initiatives, such as FAIR company-community partnerships may provide similar opportunities for smallholders. We also question the direct link between self-organization and resilience.