Erwin Hofman | July 20 2012 06:02 | 0 comments
The final goal of DISIMP-II is to alleviate poverty; some insights on that theme
Another week of working at the office in Jakarta. This week consisted mostly of report writing. Because there is, like last week, not so much to tell about my activities, I will highlight an interesting issue again.
The main goal of the DISIMP-II programme is "to alleviate poverty in economically depressed rural areas in the eastern region of Indonesia by increasing rice production". Therefore my research has an economic aspect, focusing on the economic development in the project areas. So, the question is: "How poor are the project areas, and is there improvement of the situation?"
A common indicator for poverty is, obviously, the poverty rate. For every region in Indonesia a poverty line is established every year, and the percentage of people living below that income level is the poverty rate. The poverty rates for the three projects I visited until now are:
- Toraut (North Sulawesi): 9,7%
- Paguyaman (Gorontalo): 19,8%
- Bena (East Nusa Tenggara): 28,7%
Another method of measuring poverty is the 'basic needs approach'. The Indonesian government established that there are five basic needs: food, shelter, clothes, health and religion. In Bena 65,6% of the families are not able to meet all of these needs.
Farmers in all three of the locations I visited indicate their income already increased because of the irrigation system. An increase of farmer income will have a huge impact on the local development, considering that respectively 96% (Bena), 65% (Toraut) and 70% (Paguyaman) of the population works in the agricultural sector.
Next Monday I will fly to Lombok Island to visit the Jurang Sate irrigation project. That will be the last of my four field visits.