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close this bookCERES No. 096 - November - December 1983 (FAO Ceres, 1983, 50 p.)
close this folderCerescope
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Indonesia aims at farm systems tailored to local environments

In a five-year programme scheduled or launching next year, Indonesia will introduce a new approach to agricultural development planning designed especially to benefit small arm households. Known as Repelita V, Indonesia's plan will be the latest in a series that began in the 1960s and that has been credited with a umber of the country's agricultural successes to date. But while rapid progress was made in certain fields of agricultural development, a large proportion of the rural population as not benefited from these successes.

The primary tool of the latest plan will be an approach called Integrated -arming Systems Development (IFSD), a concept advocated last year in the report of an FAO Programming and Review mission that was sent to Indonesia under the auspices of the Organization's Technical Cooperation Programme. Among points made in the report was that Indonesia historically had developed commodities and commodity support programmes without adequately considering farmers' needs as a whole, crops determined the structure of research; few applied research results were available to farms as a whole in he various agro-ecological zones.

As a solution the report recommended the development of integrated arming systems that would:

- make maximum use of available natural resources;
- respond to the socio-economic needs of the community;
- ensure environmental protection;
- make optimum use of family labour, applying appropriate skills and inputs both on and off the farm;
- ensure that farm income stability and food security are further strengthened by action on the community

The FAO mission foresaw two distinct spheres where IFSD techniques could be of great value in developing Indonesian agriculture:

The first would be in generating viable farming systems in the country's outer islands, according to the requirements of each agro-ecological zone and the socio-economic structure of each area concerned, including those used by transmigrate settlers. (See Cerescope, September-October 1982.)

The second would be in rationalizing and improving the existing farming systems in heavily populated areas to increase productivity within the limits of their human carrying capacity, to improve nutrition and generally to raise living standards of the rural population.

The mission's report also included recommendations for a framework of technical assistance which, if realized, could go a long way toward helping Indonesia solve the equity problem for its teeming population.

Meanwhile, negotiations have begun for a key UN Development Programme project that would assist the Indonesian Government in establishing a network to monitor "agro-ecological farming systems development". The immediate objective would be to support and accelerate the evolution and expansion of the Government's integrated farming systems programme for different agro-ecological and socioeconomic environments in the country. The outputs foreseen included accurate information on the main agro-ecological zones in Indonesia, technologies for integrated farming systems, full-scale area development projects, and an evolved and restructured institutional support system.

The project would help to prepare the ground for launching the Government's IFSD programme and to support its implementation. It would also include testing technologies in pilot operations, preparing development projects for investment and building institutions.

It is proposed that the project be implemented in six stages. The first should be implemented next year with the establishment of a main Integrated Farming Systems Development Centre (IFSDC) in either Jakarta or Bogor under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture. This Centre would eventually operate as the head of the main AFSD network.

A second stage, starting in 1985, would involve establishing two or three sub-centres and three or four pilot schemes in various zones. Pilot operations "should follow a pattern of a gradual introduction of technologies", starting first from the improvement of existing practices with minimum management inputs. Beginning in 1986, a third stage would involve establishing four to five sub-centres and five to six pilot schemes. Eventually, beginning in either 1986 or 1987 and following through to 1988, Stages IV and V would mark the development of full-scale development projects as data accumulated. These would require external investment. It was envisaged that Stage VI begin in 1987 when strategies for land use planning for the outer islands would be developed.