Land or plants: Agricultural tenure in agroforestry systems

TitleLand or plants: Agricultural tenure in agroforestry systems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1987
AuthorsWeinstock, JA, Vergara, NT
JournalEconomic Botany
Date PublishedApril-June 1987
KeywordsBorneo; Indonesia; land tenure; Melanesia; Papua New Guinea

The distinction between the rights to land and rights to plants is often overlooked when viewing agricultural tenure in developing countries. This distinction is crucial to understanding traditional agricultural systems, especially where agroforestry is practiced or its introduction has been proposed. Rights to land versus rights to plants are viewed in two Asia-Pacific agroforestry systems: one in Indonesian Borneo and the other in Papua New Guinea. Conflicts are discussed between the traditional dichotomy of land and plant rights and government policy. The success of an indigenous agroforestry system based on plant rights is contrasted to the failure of a proposed agroforestry system for similar reasons. It is concluded that the perceptual separation of land and plant rights needs to be explored if agroforestry practices are not only to be ecologically and economically feasible but also culturally acceptable.

Journal Abbreviation

Economic Botany


0013-0001; 1874-9364

Short TitleLand or Plants