THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE MONOCULTURE SYSTEM TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE FARMING PRACTICES AMONG MALAY SMALLHOLDINGS IN KLUANG, JOHOR

Nor Zalina Harun, Anizah Mohd Salleh

Abstract

Malaysia is known as the largest exporter and second largest producer of world palm oil market. Despite such contributions, a huge amount of forest land has been supplanted by oil palm cultivation. This activity is considered as a major driver of deforestation, which contributes to three-quarters of tropical deforestation globally. Critiques suggest agroforestry systems as option to overcome the issues brought up by the monoculture system of oil palm cultivation. This study is directed to study plant composition and arrangement for agroforestry systems in oil palm smallholdings. Data were gathered using a qualitative approach involving 10 biggest oil palm Malay smallholdings at Kluang, Johor. The study reveals that arrangement involves triangular, double avenue, and boundary planting systems. Further analysis traced that these plant species and arrangement can be categorized into two main categories which are: (i) sustainable plant composition and arrangement, and (ii) unsustainable into sustainable plant composition and arrangement. The study concluded that the transformation of the monoculture system with low sustainability towards more sustainable farming practices of agroforestry systems can actually be achieved through five considerations identified as (i) crop component (ii) maturity of oil palm (iii) market values and demand (iv) belowground and aboveground interaction, and (v) diversification of plant composition and arrangement.

Keywords

agroforestry, smallholdings, oil palm cultivation, sustainable agriculture

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References

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