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Indonesian Transmigration

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Indonesian Transmigration The transmigration policy of Indonesia, initiated by the Dutch in the 1950s, consisted of moving millions of Indonesians from the densely populated inner islands to the less densely populated Indonesian outer islands. Why Indonesia adopted a migration policy Indonesia's transmigration policy was adopted to relieve congestion from the inner islands of Indonesia such as Java, Mandura and Bali and to achieve a more balanced demographic development. Java and Mandura have 7% of the total land area of Indonesia. However the very uneven distribution of population means these two islands alone hold 65% of Indonesia's population. Problems have aroused from the large densities of people. Birth rates are high producing a large numbers of young people; despite encouraged family planning. This contributes to an annual population growth rate of 2.3%. Growth of families has led to repeated sub-division of the land. Between 1973 and 1980 the percentage of landless farmers increased by 11.7% from 3.2% to 14.9%. Improving the standard of living of the inhabitants of the inner islands was another aim of the migration policy. ...read more.


Others are provided with necessities such as coffee crops or chickens/goats and tools or equipment are provided for a year. Amenities and infrastructure are the responsibility of the government. Effects of the programme The transmigration was branded an environmental disaster and an attempt of development fraud. However, attempts were made to glamorise the policy. The transmigration minister stated in 1984 that only 67 of the 800 sites needed reconstruction following failure. It was also claimed that many of the migrants from the inner islands of Indonesia preferred their new surroundings to the ones they migrated from. The income of migration in the outer islands is roughly 60% better compared to the inner islands. However other opinions conclude it is roughly 17% worse. 50% of people feel that income is better that two years ago whereas 25% feel it is worse. Transport is said to be 20% better than in Java, however a larger proportion of people at 60% feel that it is worse. ...read more.


The government has had to establish National Reserves and National Parks to preserve the decreasing rain forest. Was the policy a success? Although only 10-15% of transmigrants returned to their original destination and only 67 out of 800 of sites needed reconstruction, I feel that the transmigration of Indonesians was not a success. I do not disagree that the policy has had success, however I do believe that the interruption of lifestyles due to failed farming and relocation of families, some for the second time, has hindered the lifestyle of the migrants. Alternative employment has been sought for payment in food rations. The form of payment shows how dire the lives of many individuals must be. The serenity of the outer islands has been interrupted and environmental concerns have caused the establishment of protected areas at a cost to the government. Therefore I feel that the policy was not a success. However with more management of the scheme and further research into improving the project I feel that it could be a success. Sustainability would have to be considered and the livelihood of the transmigrants. MIGRATION-Indonesian Transmigration Chloe Baldey Geography-GN ...read more.

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