The ongoing oil palm boom in Indonesia has influenced patterns of labour mobility and land ownership throughout the country. Although large-scale land deals for oil palm agribusiness occur in less densely populated areas of Indonesia, as this paper argues, they contribute to social differentiation throughout the country, often indirectly. This paper seeks to contribute to the critique of the structural limitations of labour regimes and resource distribution associated with profit-driven oil palm agribusiness. The paper investigates how oil palm wealth has contributed to the production of a geographically diffuse land ownership structure that straddles multiple islands in Indonesia. Concomitantly, it looks at patterns of labour mobility from resource strapped central islands to the oil palm plantation belts in Kalimantan and how this shapes access to capital. This research is based on in-depth fieldwork carried out in multiple sites of Indonesia from 2009 to 2011.
Bissonnette, J.F. LDPI Working Paper 47. Processes of land accumulation and patterns of labour mobility in large-scale oil palm smallholding schemes in Indonesia. The Land Deal Politics Initiative, (2013) 17 pp.