Women in Indonesian oil palm farming: Fostering sustainable development through bee-keeping

Last registered on May 13, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Women in Indonesian oil palm farming: Fostering sustainable development through bee-keeping
Initial registration date
May 05, 2024

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
May 13, 2024, 12:04 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


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Primary Investigator

University of East Anglia

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Goettingen

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Indonesia is home of one of the largest rainforest and biodiversity areas in Southeast Asia. The oil palm boom, steered by smallholder farmers, has increased household income - and thus given an incentive to expand land, which considerably threatened rainforest areas and biodiversity richness - but also changed gender roles. While women were previously engaged in e.g. rubber cultivation, they now tend to have little access or control over oil palm earnings, as men tend to be the ones receiving payment when the fresh fruit bunches are harvested. It is unclear how smallholder oil palm cultivation can become sustainable on all three pillars. In order for smallholder oil palm cultivations to become holistically sustainable, there is a need for a complementary economic activity for women that also promotes the value of ecosystems while not taking important land ressources away from the current palm oil cultivation. Bee-keeping is a promising candidate. Yet, while there is empirical evidence that bee-keeping can be welfare increasing for smallholder farm households, it is unclear how bee-keeping can drive sustainable growth of women living in oil palm cultivating households located at the periphery of the rainforest. We test this with 300 women from West Kalimantan. We provide bee-kits, bees and training to 150 randomly selected women (Treatment group) and have a group of 150 randomly selected women serving as our control group. We will measure the impacts of bee-keeping on an economic, social, and ecological level. Outcome variables are measured through mixed-method surveys, economic experiments, and ecological data. Results are relevant to policy makers interested in driving sustainable development - especially female agency - in palm oil households and may serve as evidence for further scaling up.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Bruns, Selina and Charlotte Reich. 2024. "Women in Indonesian oil palm farming: Fostering sustainable development through bee-keeping ." AEA RCT Registry. May 13. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.13566-1.0
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
+income (from honey and further bee-keeping byproducts)
+investment behavior (incl. risk attitude)
+gender transformative change
++ Focus: female agency
+value of ecosystem services
+attitudes towards deforestation and biodiversity
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
To be eligible to enter the sample, the participant needs to be female, part of a palm oil household, above 18, and living in a partnership in the household. If these criteria are met, women enter the sample. Subjects from our study region will be randomly assigend to treatment group (T=150) and control group (T=150). Intervention: The treatment group receives bee-kits, bees, and extensive training.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
randomization done in office
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
0/ no cluster
Sample size: planned number of observations
300 women
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
150 women treatment (receive bee-kits), 150 women control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
064/ KE.01/SK/0 2/2024