The Political Ecology of Cloves in Minahasa, Indonesia: The Effect of Changing Crediting Strategies on Land Management

EPA Grant Number: U915762
Title: The Political Ecology of Cloves in Minahasa, Indonesia: The Effect of Changing Crediting Strategies on Land Management
Investigators: Borkenhagen, Lea M.
Institution: University of California - Berkeley
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: May 1, 2000 through May 1, 2003
Project Amount: $86,011
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Social Sciences , Academic Fellowships , Environmental Justice


This research will examine how clove farmers? land management practices, control over land use, and access to their land changes with their employment of different clove crediting strategies. It will analyze the various economic, political, and social conditions in which farmers use specific crediting strategies.


Qualitative data have been collected through participant observation, surveys, and in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Government documents and traders? record books have been reviewed where possible. To understand what political, economic and social conditions influence how the creditors operate and why they are able to do so, the activities of creditors under different political, economic, and social conditions at multiple scales from village level to their sales to cigarette companies were examined. Their explanations for why they were able to take part in such activities have been analyzed. To understand what ways state policies have fostered the development of particular kinds of crediting, this research examined the way in which local and national regulations regarding clove production were implemented by local officials in the village and regency level and, secondly, how farmers reacted to such implementation by engaging in some crediting systems and not others. In an effort to analyze how land management struggle reflect struggles regarding who can accumulate capital, this research examined notions of what it means to be a farmer, a creditor, or a local official and how this shapes what kinds of relationships around credit arise in this production system. The ways in which state activity promotes particular kinds of socioeconomic relationships between creditors and officials that help to promote particular credit systems between the creditors and farmers also has been examined. Relations among farmers, creditors, and local officials were further examined to elucidate how struggles over production and management are informed by conceptions of different social positions within clove production. To explore how crediting affects the way in which the farmers manage their land and to determine under what conditions different configurations of crediting are employed, this study analyzed clove production practices through recent history and the present time. Changes in access, use, and control over clove property are linked with the crediting system used.

Expected Results:

The specific crediting strategies used by clove farmers will be identified based on economic, political, and social conditions.

Supplemental Keywords:

cloves, Minahasa, agriculture, cooperatives, Indonesia, church, religious institutions, political ecology, center-periphery state dynamics, credit, ethnicity, Chinese-Indonesians, land management., RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Economics, Economics and Business, decision-making, Ecology and Ecosystems, International, Economics & Decision Making, Social Science, policy analysis, impact of federal policy instruments, policy incentives, developing countries, environmental decision making, decision making, economic incentives, socioeconomics, credit stategies, environmental policy, policy impact, clove production, agriculture, Indonesia, regulatory impact, political ecology, land use

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000
  • 2001
  • Final