Small-scale teak tree growing has been widely adopted by farmers in the tropics for subsistence and commercial purposes. In Indonesia, demand for teak timber produced from private land is considerably high and promises potential for future expansion. Yet because little is understood about the factors that motivate farmers to integrate teak into their farming system, the promotion of teak tree growing is often ineffective.
This research sought to understand factors that motivate farmers to grow teak trees and it took as a case study the Hutan Jaya Lestari Cooperative (Koperasi Hutan Jaya Lestari-KHJL) in South Konawe District of Southeast Sulawesi Province, Indonesia, which is the first cooperative in Indonesia granted Forest Certification Council (FSC) Certification in 2005 and has been promoted nationally and internationally as a working example of community tree growing management.
The study found that the motivations for farmer members of the KHJL to grow teak are generally a combination of the attractiveness of teak tree growing and incentives and benefits provided by the KHJL. The attractiveness of teak tree growing comprises of direct factors such as higher market price for its timber, the presence of an established market, its role as a means of de-facto saving, its ease of planting and establishing, and indirect factors such as its potential to increase land value, to secure land ownership and to improve environmental conditions. Incentives provided by the KHJL include seed and seedling subsidies, technical and financial support for harvesting and transporting timber from teak farms, and timber marketing facilitation, loan facilities, and dividend/benefit sharing. Benefits of becoming a member of the KHJL consist of simplified timber marketing procedures, potential to secure land ownership, and potential access to additional land offered under the People Plantation Forest program.