Field Survey Report
Survey on Socioeconomic and Soil Organic Matters in Batang Merao Watershed, Sumatra

Original Report in Bahasa Indonesia is here!




Generally, this report is a brief description of field survey activity conducted in Jambi Provinsi, Indonesia. This activity coincided with a summer holiday in Japan. This report aimed to complete the need of research data and dissertation arrangement.

There were two important objectives in this field survey as follows

  1. Collecting primary and secondary data of soil organic matter on different land-covers.
  2. Collecting primary and secondary data on the socioeconomic condition of local people especially population growth and population pressure on the land.

Phase 1:
Collecting secondary data on socioeconomic and soil organic matters
This activity was focused on collecting secondary data, study of literature and annual report and technical consultation with some related institution of Watershed management in Jambi Province. It was held from August 6th to 10th 2012. Although it was planned for 5 days, practically it was only held for 3 days. The first flight planning from Jakarta to Jambi on August 5, 2012 was delayed because the weather condition was very bad. The increasing number of hotspots and potential forest fire spots in Sumatera during the month of August and September caused some flight schedules.

On August 7, 2012, I visited the office Batang Hari Watershed Management (BP DAS Batang Hari). The next day August 8, 2012 I visited study center of watershed management, Jambi University. On August 9, 2012 I visited 2 offices namely Jambi Statistical Office and Regional Development Planning Office of Jambi Province.


Phase 2:
Primary survey on socioeconomic condition and change of local community and soil data. The second survey was held on August 24 -30, 2012. This activity was more focused on collecting primary data of soil sample and socioeconomic of the local community. Several important parts of this second report as follows:

  1. Gneral description of research area

Collecting primary data was held in Batang Merao Watershed, Kerinci Regency, Jambi Province, Indonesia. Batang Merao Watershed is one of the most important Watersheds in the upstream of Batang Hari Watershed. Physically, Batang Merao Watershed crosses over Kerinci Regency and the City of Sungai Penuh along 56 km, with 20m mean width and about 76,874.48 ha of the total area. The distance from the capital of Jambi Province to Batang merao Watershed is about 419 km or 12 hours by bus. In the rainy season, it takes 14-16 hours.

  1. Soil survey of different land-use land-cover

This research is a descriptive exploratory research that has been done to know the condition and relationship between land-use land-cover changes and physico-chemical condition of the soil. Observing and collecting of soil sample was done by using purposive random sampling on six different land-covers i.e forest, tea plantation, mixed plantation, shrub/bush, paddy field and settlement. Each land-cover was consisted of four soil samples so the total samples was 24 soil samples.

Soil Survey


According to the standard of soil research, three important observations were held namely bulk density and hydraulic conductivity observation in whole soil sample (soil depth 0-20 cm), observation on C-Organic content, Organic matters and distribution of particle size in disturbed soil samples, and observation on soil aggregate and stability. The soil analysis was supervised by a researcher in the laboratory of soil physic and mineralogy, Jambi University.


  1. Socioeconomic survery and land use

The main purpose of this survey was to understand the level of population pressure to the land. This survey was very important because it will be known the value of the land use change determinant that can be influenced the sustainability of ecological function of the landscape.

socioeconomic survey with local farmers


The survey was held using purposive random sampling to the selected farmer of 126 villages in the Batang Merao Watershed. It spent about six days and involved 2 farmer respondent per village. It was helped by one village office staff (Mr. Wire) and one agricultural office staff (Mr. Deni). Several important indicators in determining population pressure were minimum land-hold, non agricultural income, population growth and farmer proportion in the region. οΎ‚

riding motorbike to visit villages and road condition


At least, there were three constraints during last socioeconomic survey i.e. road condition, transportation accessibility and local language. The road condition that was mostly narrow, stony and dusty soil in the dry season and muddy and slippery in the rainy season was very dangerous and difficult. The road condition that was mostly narrow, stony and dusty soil in the dry season and muddy and slippery in the rainy season was very dangerous and difficult. The local language that is used by local people (Kerinci language) was very difficult to understand. Because only a few respondents could understand Bahasa Indonesia, the interview was quite difficult to complete well.