Title : Agro ecological analysis of the Kalalasi agropolitant development area Buton district Southeast Sulawesi Indonesia
Agricultural sector has histrorically served as a pillar of the Indonesian economy, but has yet to achieve its full potential. This sector has long been an important source of income for local households and has also contributed much needed export revenued. However, a host of challenges restrict crop yields such as limited access to capital for farmers as well market access and outdated infrastructures. It is therefore important to develop an integrated framework for agricultural development in which upstream activities well linked with downstream industries. Buton district is one of agricultural based area and it’s located in Southeast Sulawesi Province of Indonesia. Local government is struggling to increase local farmer welfare through agropolitant development framework. The study aimed to: (1) analyze agro-ecological conditions within developed agropolitant area (soil characteristics and qualities and climatic conditions); (2) analyze and recommend suitable agricultural commodities based on land suitability analysis approach; (3) and determine infrastructures needed to properly link agricultural development area and its downstream activities. Results study showed that:(1) agro-ecological conditions were relatively varied within the developed agropolitant area; (2) Land suitability analysis showed that several annual crops have the land suitability level of S3 (highly suitable) such as : paddy rice which covers 7,637.47 ha of the area, ground nut (7,968,83 ha) green bean (5398,21 ha), cassava (5,288.58 ha). Kinds of fruit crops that have high suitable class within the area were water melon (10,705.24 ha) and orange (5042,85 ha). While plantation crops that have land suitability level of S3 (highly suitable) are cashew nut (5.2018,07 ha), cocoa (8247,07 ha) and coffee ( 8247,07 ha). It is therefore, all kinds of those crops are strongly recommended to be planted within the area of agropolitant; (4) In order to increase productivity of the annual crops, medium scale of irrigations need to be built in each sub-district, while small scale industries are needed to gain added value of fruit and plantation crops. Last but not the least, such infrastructures as road and harbor need to be built to link production zone to the local market within the agropolitant area and to trading those commodities to the national and global market.