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Klasem, Stephan
Meyer, Katrin M.
Dislich, Claudia
Euler, Michael
Faust, Heiko
Gatto, Marcel
Hettig, Elisabeth
Melati, Dian N.
Jaya, I. Nengah Surati
Otten, Fenna
Perez, César
Steinebach, Stefanie
Tarigan, Suria
Wiegand, Kerstin
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 178
Specialization in agricultural systems leads to trade-offs between economic gains and ecosystem functions. Economic gains can be maximized when production activities are specialized at increasingly broader scales (from the household to the village, region or above), particularly when markets for outputs and inputs function well and allow specialization as well as high levels of food security. Conversely, a tendency toward specialization likely reduces biodiversity and significantly limits ecosystem functions at the local scale. When agricultural specialization increases and moves to broader scales as a result of improved infrastructure and markets, ecosystem functions can also be endangered at broader spatial scales. Policies to improve agricultural incomes through improvements in infrastructure and the functioning of markets thus affects the severity of the trade-offs. This paper takes Jambi province in Indonesia, a current hotspot of rubber and oil palm monoculture, as a case study to illustrate these issues. In doing so, it empirically investigates the trade-offs between economic gains and ecosystem functions for three spatial levels of scale (i.e. household, village, and region) and discusses ways to resolve these trade-offs.
ecosystem services
economies of scale
oil palm
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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