Livelihood strategies of migrants in the transmigrasi location in Indonesia
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- Institutt for geografi 
This study is about the livelihood strategies of migrant households who are resettled from Wonogiri Regency in Central Java Province to West Sumatera Province, Indonesia, through transmigrasi program called Bedol Desa. The study is conducted in the transmigrasi location in Sitiung I where the migrants migrated in 1976 due to a dam construction in Wonogiri. The thesis aims to explore the changes of strategies applied by migrant households to pursue sustainable livelihoods since they came to the transmigrasi location. The historical background of transmigrasi processes is examined in order to understand the various factors affecting the decision of migrant households to move. It is further sought to identify the availability of livelihood assets for the migrant households to sustain their livelihoods. Following the qualitative research methodology, the study drew on interviews, observation as well as informal conversation to gather the livelihood experiences of twenty six migrant households which were selected by using purposive sampling. Structuration theory and the sustainable livelihoods approach were employed as theoretical frameworks to address the research problem. The presence of structure and agency played important roles to shape the lives of migrant households especially to determine the access to livelihood assets and livelihood strategies of migrant households. The sustainable livelihood approach has been adopted to analyze how the migrant households change the assets and livelihood strategies for making a living. This study found the main motivation of migrants to involve in the transmigrasi program was the ownership opportunity for two hectares of land from the Government which divided into one hectare for paddy cultivation, three-quarters hectare for plantation and one-fourth hectare of land for home plot including a house. Their decision to move was also caused by the economic background of the migrants in which most of them came from poor family and were landless so the Bedol Desa program gave them a possibility to improve their livelihoods. The better vision for their children’s education and the social ties as a Wonogiri community, were also affecting the decision to involve in the transmigrasi program. The livelihoods of migrant households have positively changed since they came to the transmigrasi location in 1976. The availability of natural capital of paddy land, the availability of irrigation system, and livestock are the most important assets for the farmer migrants. The training activities provided by local government aimed to improve the human capital of the migrants in agricultural sector. The farmer groups provide the opportunity to receive support from the government especially financial support or agricultural tools for cultivation. The study found that a range of livelihood strategies have been applied by migrant household to cope with the vulnerability of their livelihoods. They could not generate income from paddy field due to inadequate irrigation system and soil problems. Conflict with local people has made the migrant household losing the plantation land thus they were not able to sustain their livelihoods in agriculture. The livelihood activities of poor households are more diverse. They worked as wage laborers on the paddy lands owned by other migrants and involved in the construction projects providing by the Government. After the sufficient irrigation system was built, the livelihoods pattern of migrant households has changed. They started to cultivate the paddy lands intensively and they could generate income from the rice harvest. This study confirms that the livelihoods of migrant households may increase after getting involved in the transmigrasi program.