Flores consists of over 116,607 ha of forest land and over 117,531 ha of grasslands, this regency accounts for over 80% of the total area of Flores. The forests are generally located at the higher altitudes in the cooler and more humid air. These are primarily in the districts of Komodo, Sano Nggoang and Macang Pacar where highlands are plentiful. The West Manggarai are mainly only lightly populated and settled with a tiny 787 ha (27%) of the total land area is actually inhabited by the local people. The remaining land is dedicated to farming and the agricultural processes that Flores relies on for as a main source of its income for the local people.
Farming and fishing is the main trade and traditional culture of Flores and most of the local people are involved in somehow in the processes whether they be on the irrigation fields that propagate rice by huge quantities, the dry fields, fruit and various plantations and mixed gardens that grow crops for the personal family and for the rest of the village, agriculture is the way of life and these areas make up the remaining 20% of Flores. Lakes and barren or waste lands account for less then one percent of Flores.
Farming in Flores can be divided into two different categories, these are Subsidence crops that are never meant for sale for commercial gain and instead are reserved for the families pleasure and for chosen guests or other village members, these include fruits and vegetables and usually grown close to the house and taken care of by the older members of the family. Cash crops, as the name suggests are crops propagated with commercial gain as the primary motive, today Flores exports large amounts of rice, sweet potato, pineapples, papaya, cashew nut, coffee, coconuts, vanilla, cloves and nutmeg are all produced in this wonderful rich tropical land. Cash crops can be exported or sold throughout Indonesia on Flores or neighboring islands that do not share the specific condition of Flores.
Flores' agriculture has affected the culture of the island in many ways and has developed a unique connecting between the people and the land in which they live. There are many ceremonies and rituals that are very closely linked to the harvest cycles of different crops and the way in which they have influenced the lifestyles of the people who farm them. The same can be said for the fishers and people who work in the plantations. The agriculture of Flores has also due to the laws about land ownership, created unique spider's web style rice Paddies that can only be found in Flores. These are a spectacle for any traveler, some of which are huge, this is just one example of the beauty in this connection between the locals and the land in which they take pride in working. With the importance of farming and agriculture in Flores being so intimate when the weather brings unpredictable changes and disasters the effects can be devastating.