This study assessed the influence of sago-based vegeculture (cultivation of sago and vegetatively propagated crops) in Seram, Maluku province, east Indonesia, on the
local forest landscape. The land productivity of sago groves, dependence of local people on sago and size of shifting cultivation field were analysed. Field research was conducted intermittently between 2003 and 2010 in an upland community in Seram. The study found that (1) the land productivity of sago groves in the village was higher than that of upland rice fields throughout South-East Asia, (2) sago was the most important staple food in terms of energy intake and was highly valued by the local people and (3) shifting cultivation fields were very small compared with upland rice fields throughout South and South-East Asia. This type of small-scale shifting cultivation creates relatively little pressure for forest clearance, suggesting that sago-based vegeculture contributes, to some extent, to supporting the rich natural forest-dominated rural landscape in Seram
Author: Sasaoka, M.; Laumonier, Y.; Sugimura, K.