This study focuses on the expansion of oil palm cultivation in Indonesia and the phenomenon of a large number of migrants moving into the frontiers of the expanding oil palm area. It investigated how migrants began cultivating oil palm and how they succeeded in expanding their holdings in Riau province, located in the middle of Sumatra, the largest area of oil palm cultivation in Indonesia.
At the research site, L Village in Siak district, a private company developed a large oil palm plantation inthe late 1980s, after which numerous migrants from North Sumatra province started moving to the village. Their migration to the village had two objectives: the first was to clear land for oil palm smallholdings and the second was to work as plantation laborers. The landowners’ livelihood was dependent on oil palm cultivation, whereas plantation laborers initially earned a small income by working on the plantation or as part of large-scale farms. Some of these laborers subsequently bought land with their savings. The migrants who purchased land and started cultivating oil palm expanded their holdings by more than 10 ha if they met two conditions. First, it was important that the land had been purchased before prices rose too steeply. Until the 1990s, open forests still existed around L Village and land prices were relatively reasonable, even for plantation laborers. After the 2000s, however, land prices increased drastically because most of the land had been cleared by the migrants. Second, a large amount of additional funds had to be procured to expand their oil palm holdings. Migrants with larger holdings had easy access to banks and land-based collateral loans; those with smaller holdings, however, were forced to acquire additional funds by saving their wages or from other income sources (e.g., running small businesses).
Migrants who moved to L Village and bought land in the 1980s and 1990s, including plantation laborers, expanded their area of oil palm production. Presently, no more land is available for clearing in L Village. Consequently, migrants are relocating to other frontiers in search of new land for oil palm smallholdings. In Riau province, these cyclical migrations are an unintended side effect of oil palm expansion which occur from old to new frontiers.
In the 2000s, many municipalities across Japan merged with each other. This situation, referred to as the “major mergers during the Heisei Era,” has drawn the attention of many researchers. Some researchers are interested in areas that had been municipalities before the mergers, considering them local grounds where a shift in policy style, from government to governance, is occurring. This paper discusses whether such former municipal areas have been established as constituents of local governance.
As an example of local governance in former municipal areas, this paper examines the case of a government subsidy for local development provided by the city of Saiki, Oita prefecture. Saiki, which merged with eight rural municipalities in 2005, started “Subsidy P” in 2006 to develop former municipal areas and in 2012 converted it to “Subsidy C,” which had stricter rules. This paper examines how and on what scale the government and citizens interacted through the subsidies. Among the eight former rural municipalities of Saiki, this paper investigates two areas, Naokawa and Yonozu.
The results show that most recipients of the subsidies in both areas originally acted on the former municipal scale because of the leadership of a local branch administration of Saiki, which had jurisdiction over each former municipal area but later changed. In Naokawa, voluntary organizations on smaller scales appeared, but all the recipients on the Naokawa scale remained under the control of the branch administration. In Yonozu, however, local manufacturers, rather than the branch administration, took the initiative in developing the Yonozu scale. Consequently, in Yonozu, the former municipal area is becoming a constituent of local governance. This is in direct contrast to what occurred in Naokawa, suggesting that a change “from government to governance” does not necessarily occur in former municipal areas.
Direct local marketing of seafood has been widespread in Japan since the 1990s. In recent years, these activities have been undertaken by fishermen and fishermen’s cooperatives or retailers in order to revitalize regional fishery economies. These innovations in distribution systems may affect fishery management and activities in some regions. Thus, the author aimed to analyze how the direct seafood marketing system affects fishery management and activities. A case study was conducted at retail Store A in Michinoeki (roadside station) Misaki in the town of Misaki, Fuke district, Osaka prefecture, and changes in the management conditions of fishery bodies in Misaki were analyzed.
Direct shipping to Michinoeki Misaki began in April 2017. Some fishery management bodies of four fishermen’s cooperatives currently ship there. The conditions for dealing in Store A are: 1) only fishery management bodies can ship there, to the displeasure of fishermen; 2) the market price is decided by Store A; 3) the fish are consigned by Store A; and 4) fishermen cannot ship live fish to Store A.
The income of fishery management bodies responsible for direct shipping has increased since direct shipping to Store A began because the destination is fixed. However, delivery and treatment of the fish (e.g., ikezime, the draining of blood from a live fish to preserve its freshness) have been added. As a result, the amount of work has also increased. Furthermore, the management bodies ship high-quality fish, i.e., large or heavy fish that would be expected to receive high market prices in cooperative markets, and others that cannot be shipped to cooperative markets are shipped to Store A. One fisherman said, “I was able to ship some fish that could not ever be shipped previously.”
As noted above, management conditions and activities have changed since direct marketing started, and a new strategy has been employed by which fish quality can be controlled depending on the destination.