The conflict whether certain districts of indigenous forest should be assigned to agriculture or forestry, had been more heated in Bantam than in all the outlying provinces of the Netherlands East Indies. At the beginning of this century an abortive attempt was made to eliminate shifting (ladang or hoema) cultivation. To evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the hoema system with special reference to forest reservation, the author studied the hoema cultivation as an agricultural system, its consequences for local people and for other land use, crop yields, the traditional (adat) law and the legal hoema regulations in Bantam. Kools arrived at the conclusion that the aims in the hoema region should be: 1. Establishment of field crops between young forest tree seedlings (Taungya system) to provide immediate relief; 2. research into intensification of the hoema cultivation; 3. rigorous checks against illegal reclamation.
Hoema cultivation must be considered as a primitive extensive agricultural system, which did not need to exhaust the soil, but usually did. It was recommended that shifting cultivation be restricted to particular forest blocks, also in the rest of Java and in Madoera.