A Case Study
The Impact of Cropping Systems Research in Indonesia
central Research Institute for Food Crops (CRIFC), Indonesia International Development Research Centre(IDRC), Canada
A Case Study : :
The Impact of Cropping Systems Research
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The research work described in this report was carried out by scientists from the Central Research Institute for Food Crops of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, with assistance from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the International-'Development Research Centre (IDRC), and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
Indonesia was the world's largest importer of rice for several years before reaching self-sufficiency in this staple food in 1982. By 1984, rice output had risen to 25.8 million tons of milled grain, and Indonesia was not only able to feed its 160 million people, but was also able to seek export markets. The production of other food crops has also increased markedly, although there have been.fluctuations caused mainly by adverse weather. National corn output, for instance, more than doubled from 2.29 million tons in 1969 to 5.36 million tons in 1984; soybean production rose from 0.39 to 0.52 million tons, peanut from 0.27 to 0.74, mungbean from 0.04 to 0.19, and cassava from 10.92 to 14.21 million tons in the same period.
Many factors have contributed to this remarkable achievement. These factors include government policies, effective extension, and most importantly, the willingness of farmers to adopt the technology developed thiough agricultural research.
There is stillmuch potential for expanding the area of land for cultivation of food' crops. Out of Indonesia's total land area of 192 million hectares, only 16 million ha are being used for food crops production, of which 7 million are wetland suitable for rice cultivation. It is estimated that 3 million ha of wet and dryland can be brought into cultivation by the year 2000.
Another way of further increasing national food production and raising farmers' incomes is by increasing the number of crops grown each year on land already in use. The cropping intensity of both wet and dryland could be increased significantly. More than 50% of the wetland area is still planted to only one rice crop per year. In the dryland areas, most farmers grow only corn, dryland rice and cassava in mixed cropping patterns during the rainy season, but do not make efficient use of soil water and rainfall during the drier times of the year.
Cropping systems research has shown that two or more crops can be grown in rainfed wetland areas where there is partial and full irrigation. Research has also sh6wn that better crop management can double the productivity of dryland areas.
CROPPING SYSTEMS -RESEARCH IN INDONESIA
In 1970, the Central Research Institute for Food Crops (CRIFC) of the Ministry of Agriculture began studying cropping systems. This research aimed to find ways of growing crops on poor and under-used lands, and to develop more intensive and productive cropping patterns. In the early stages the research was carried out on experiment stations. But the scientists soon realized that if they conducted their tests in the farmers, fields, they c 'ould get more useful information and rapid feedback. In 1973, they began systematic research to intensify crop production in Indramayu (West Java), and to improve and stabilize crop production in dryland areas in Lampung (southern Sumatra). In 1975, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) provided support through the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to expand this research into farmers' fields over a wider area. In 1976, the Indonesian Directorate General for Transmigration gave funds to extend the studies to several areas being settled by "transmigrants" from Java. Since then, with support from other agencies, cropping systems research has been carried out in about 40 different areas throughout the country, coordinated by CRIFC. The research program in each area depends on the local conditions and needs, and the program changes over time as these alter.
Target Area Selection
The "target area" is the area where farmers can apply the research findings to improve their farming methods. Selecting the target area for cropping systems research is crucial because the direction of the research and the results obtained depend on the area chosen. The cropping systems scientists used four main criteria in selecting their target areas:
1. The target areas should be critical in terms of food short-.
ages and governmental designation.
2. They should be large area with similar soils and climate.
3. Previous experience should show that intensifying the cropping patterns was feasible.
4. Markets and infrastructure should be available.
The scientists selected Indramayu. and Central Lampung as the first areas for cropping systems research (Figure 1).
-K'..i Putih Sukadana Metro JaIlbarang !Karangempel
TANJUNGKARANG,. ClWari jh; K langenan
Figure 1. Locations of original Cropping Systems Research sites
in Indramayu and Central Lampung, Indonesia.
Indramayu lies on the north coast of West Java. about 200 km east of Jakarta. The land is flat, and lies about 20 m above sea level. It is typical of many wetland rice areas in Indonesia, with a pronounced dry season but 6 months with over 200 mm of rain. It was divided into four categories based on the availability of irrigation water during the year:
Category I : Area with irrigation water for 10 months
Category II With irrigation for 7 months Category III With irrigation for 5 months
Category IV : Rainfed (non-irrigated) wetland
In Categories I and II, most farmers planted two crbps of the rice variety Pelita I-1. This is a high-yielding variety, but matures late, in about 140 days. In the land Categories III and IV, most farmers grew only one rice crop per year.
In Central Lampung, the scientists selected two target areas: a partially irrigated area, and a dryland area. The first of these was rice-producing wetland similar in many respects to Category III in Indramayu. The site chosen in this area was in the village of Nambahdadi. Although the soil here was less fertile than in Indramayu; the rainfall exceeded 200 mm/month for at least 9 months per year. Farmers in Nambahdadi grew only one rice crop each year, even though their neighbors in dryland areas nearby grew food crops all year round.
The scientists also chose a dryland target area in Central Lampung. The site included the villages of Bandar Agung and Komering Putih. When the research began, this area was covered with alang-alang (Imperata cylindrica) grass. About 25 million hectares of this kind of land in Indonesia are thought to be suitable for agricultural production. Most of these lands are in the islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi, and their soils tend to be acid and infertile. They have often been used to settle transmigrants who have moved from the crowded islands of Java and Bali. Farmers in this area traditionally planted a combination of corn mixed with dryland rice and cassava. All these crops were planted together at the beginning of the rainy season.
The cropping systems research and development activities were carried out at selected sites within the three target areas. These activities fell into five distinct phases.
1. First, a preliminary study was made of land, water, and
agro-economic conditions in the target area. The researchers could use this information to choose a site for
their on-farm research.
2. At the researc 'h site, detailed studies were made of economic and biological factors influencing the local farming system. Examples of such studies are tests of high-yielding crop varieties grown under local conditions, experiments on the ideal fertilizer dosages needed for each crop, the development of guidelines for pest and disease control, and studies on the economic profitability of various crops and
3.~ Using the results of these component studies, the researchers
designed and tested various cropping systems. They compared the traditional-cropping pattern used by local farmers with a number of new patterns requiring different amounts of labor and cash inputs. Groups of farmers cooperated with the researchers in testing these cropping patterns in
their own fields.
4. When the most promising of these cropping patterns had
been determined, it was followed over a larger area of land to make sure that it was "visible" to local farmers and extension workers. This "pre-production testing" was also used to further evaluate the new technology, and to find any weaknesses in the new -pattern or in the local infrastructure.
5. The final phase of the process was the implementation of
the new cropping system through production programs. The extension services and the local and national governments spread the improved patterns to farmers through demonstration plots, recommendations and training, and supported this by providing credit and subsidized inputs through crop production programs. By these means, the new cropping systems have spread throughout the original target areas, and to other regions with similar soils and climate throughout Indonesia.
DEVELOPMENT AND ADOPTION OF TECHNOLOGY
When the research began, the most common cropping pattern used by farmers in the irrigated areas in Indramayu was a double cropping of Pelita rice (Figure 2). Farmers would plant the first crop at the beginning of the rainy season, and then a second crop towards its end. In the partially irrigated areas, however, water from irrigation or rainfall was not available for long enough to allow the grain of this second rice crop to fill properly. This meant that drought often caused this crop to produce low yields, or even no harvest at all. Many farmers therefore planted only one rice crop each year.
After three years of trials, the researchers developed promising cropping patterns for land in each irrigation category. They found various ways of planting and harvesting each rice crop earlier, thereby minimizing the risk of water shortage during the second crop. Three of these methods were the gogorancah and walik jerami management techniques, and the planting of rice varieties that matured earlier (in 120 instead of 140 days), such as IR26 and IR28. Gogorancah means that instead of waiting for the rains before they transplant their rice seedlings, farmers plant rice seeds directly into the unpuddled soil, and allow the plants to grow before flooding the fields when enough water is available. Using this technique for the first rice crop can save up to 1 month compared with traditional transplanted rice.
The time between the harvest of the first crop and the planting of the next can be shortened by walik jerami -- minimizing the tillage for the secorid crop. In walik ierami, the farmers cut the stubble of the first rice down to the ground level, and then spread it on the field. They then plant the second-crop rice seedlings without tilling the soil. Compared to the traditional method of full tillage, walik jerami can reduce turn-around time between crops by as much as 7-15 days.
Both gogorancah and walik jerami were techniques already used by farmers in Indonesia. The researchers adapted and refined these techniques to suit- the needs of the target areas, and encouraged local farmers to adopt them when conditions were favorable.
300 / Wetland rice / Wetland rice / } 10 months
Wetland rice Wetland rice /Z 7 months
/ Wetland rice / / Fallow Rainfed only
Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep.
Source: Progress Report CRIA, 1978.
Figure 2. Working calendar of farmers' cropping patterns.
Indramayu, West Java, 1973.
Shortening the period needed for the two rice crops meant that there was still enough soil moisture left to plant a third crop after the second rice harvest (Figure 3). This third crop could be a drought-tolerant legume; the researchers found at least three alternative crops that farmers could choose from: soybean, mungbean, or cowpea. Of these, mungbean requires the least time (60-65 compared to 80-90 days for soybean and cowpea), but cowpea is the most drought tolerant.
The researchers also introduced other improved management techniques, including early-maturing varieties, adequate fertilizer dosages and application methods, and pest and disease control techniques.
Table 1 gives an example of how the new technology has affected the crop yields and farmers' incomes in the Category III (5 months' irrigation) area of Indramayu. In 1976/77, the introduced, three-crop pattern gave higher yields and profits than the traditional double crop of rice. The two rice crops in the introduced pattern yielded a total of 9.4 t/ha, 3.5 t/ha more than the traditional pattern. Farmers who used the introduced pattern doubled the yield from their second rice crop, from 2.3 to 4.6 t/ha, because of the lower losses due to drought. Together with 0.5 t/ha of mungbean, this meant that farmers' profits were 33% higher if they used the pattern developed by the researchers.
In 1983/84, higher yields meant the introduced pattern was even more profitable. Farmers still planting just two. rice crops without using the improved methods obtained only Rp 376 000 profit per hectare, compared to nearly Rp 600 000 for the introduced pattern.
In 1978, the improved techniques were tested at the preproduction stage over a wider area and involving more farmer cooperators and extension workers. The results were encouraging, and the techniques were spread to neighboring areas through production programs and the extension services.
Farmers in the target area have gradually intensified their cropping patterns. This process has been aided by the advent of new, earlier maturing rice varieties, and recent improvements to the local irrigation facilities by the Public Works Department. In 1975, before the cropping systems research had produced results, only 21 of the partially irrigated area was planted to two crops of rice a year, and no land was triple3
/ Wetland rice Wak jeri rice / Soybean 10 months
400/ Wetland rice Wakferami / Soybean 7 months
300 G orancah rice Walik jeram i / Cowea 5 months
Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Source: Progress Report CRIA, 1978.
Figure 3. Working calendar of pre-production cropping patterns.
Indramayu, West Java, 1977-78.
Table 1. Comparison of yields and net returns for traditional and
introduced cropping patterns in a partially irrigated area,
Indramayu, West Java, 1976/77 and 1983/84*.
Traditional Introduced Traditional Introduced pattern pattern pattern pattern
---------------yield (t/ha)-----------Rice (first crop) 3.6 4.8 3.6 4.9
Rice (second crop) 2.3 4.6 2.9 4.7
Mungbean 0.5 0.8
Net return 358.0 477.0 376.5 598.5
(x Rp 1000)
Traditional farmers' pattern =
wetland rice wetland rice
Pattern introduced by researchers =
Gogorancah rice walik jerami rice mungbean Based on 1985 prices; $US 1 = Rp 1100
cropped (Figure 4). By 1984, 46% of the area was doublecropped, and an additional 18% was planted to three crops (rice-rice-nonrice). The area planted to a single rice crop fell from 64% to only 27%.
These changes have resulted in more land being cropped in the dry season. Between 1975 and 1983, the total area of rice harvested rose from 183 000 ha to 195 000 ha. All of this increase can be attributed to a greater second (dry season) rice crop area, which rose from 66 000 ha in 1975 to 79 000 ha in 1983. The larger area cropped and the increased yields obtained meant that the total rice production in 1985 was double that of 1975 (Figure 5).
The area planted using the gogorancah system, has fluctuated around 5000 to 10 000 ha, with .variation between years caused by the weather. Gogorancah is ideal when irrigation water is not available and the wet season rains start slowly, since it allows farmers to plant their rice without having to wait for enough rain to flood the fields. If the rainy season
crops 110c Rice-riceother crops Rice-fallow
Ric % 27%
Rice-rice other crops
Rice-fallow 64% Rc-ic
(before cropping (after cropping
systems research) systems research)
Figure 4. Cropping pattern changes in partially irrigated
areas in Indramayu, West Java, 1975-1984.
comes early or if irrigation water is available, however, it is better to grow. normal, transplanted rice. There are two main problems in gogorancah rice: it is difficult to prepare the soil when it is still dry, and controlling weeds may be a problem. In Indramayu, the recent improvements in the irrigation facilities mean that water is now available for a longer time each year. With earlier maturing varieties of rice, and the shorter turn-around time between the crops made possible by walik jerami or the use of tractors, many farmers no longer have to rely on gogorancah to fit in two rice drops.
The adoption rate of legumes as the third crop has been rather slow. The area of peanut and soybean decreased somewhat between 1975 and 1983, while that of mungbean rose (Table 2). There were fluctuations in the harvested area during this period, mainly because of weather conditions, government programs, and the availability of seed. Farmers seem to prefer low risks, and-therefore grow mungbean rather than soybean or peanut, since it needs less seed, is easy to grow, matures early, is less susceptible to pests, and has a stable price. The farmers' choice of rice varieties may also influence the area
of legumes planted: they often grow the rice variety Cisadane, even though it takes about 25 days more to mature, because of its better taste and price compared to IR36 or IR38. If they double-crop this variety, not much fime is left to grow a third, legume crop.
200- .. .----- -----. .
---- Area harvested 100 (1, 000 ha)
1975 '76 '77 '78 '79 '80 '81 '82 '83
Figure 5. Area harvested and production of rice in IndramayuIndonesia, 1975-1983.
Table 2. Harvested area of legumes planted after rice in Indramayu, 1975 83
Harvested area (ha)
Peanut Soybean Mungbean All legumes
1975 1304 1700 250 3254
1976 1001 .641 391 2032
1977 1036 820 123 2979
1978 1166 1882 1393 4441
1979 788 1885 745 3418
1980 1254 635 1041 2930
1981 897 1259 5231 7387
1982 589 597 4138 5324
1983 788 912 4505 6205
Source: Laporan Tahunan 1983/84, Dinas Pertanian Kabupaten'
Indramayu (Annual Report, Indramayu Agricultural Service, 1983/84)
Lampung -- Partially Irrigated Area
The first attempts *to improve the cropping patterns in the partially irrigated area of Lampung consisted of introducing earlier maturing rice varieties, reducing turn-around time for the second rice crop, and growing non-rice crops during the' dry season. Research during the years 1975-77 showed that two crops of rice followed by a legume (cowpea) performed well in this area. This was confirmed by a pre-production trial covering 2.5 ha in 1977-78 (Table 3). In this trial, the farmers' traditional pattern of one rice crop yielded 3.74 t/ha. The introduced cropping&'pattern" produced 8.43 t/ha of rice from two crops. In addition, a third crop of cowpea produced 0.68 t/ha of grain. In 1983/84, farmers who had adopted the new pattern and methods produced more than twice as much total grain yield as those who used the traditional pattern. Their net income was also more than double.
Table 3. Comparison of yields and net returns of traditional and introduced cropping patterns in a partially irrigated
area, Lampung, Sumatra 1976/77 and 1983/84*
Traditional Introduced Traditional Introduced pattern pattern pattern -pattern
------------ yield (t/ha)-----------------Rice (first crop) 3.7 5.6 3.9 3.6
Rice (second crop) 2.9 3.5
Cowpea 0.7 0.7
Net return 204. 3' 609.0 231.-2 518.5
(x Rp 1000)
Traditional farmers' pattern =
single crop of wetland rice
Pattern Introduced by researchers =
gogorancah rice wetland rice cowpea
Based on 1985 prices; $US 1 Rp 1100
These research findings, spread through the extension services and coupled with improvements in the local infrastructure, have brought about major changes in the cropping patterns used in Central Lampung. In 1975, before the implementation of cropping systems research in this area, only 27% of farmers grew two rice crops a year, using traditional techniques (Figure 6). A study in 1982 found that 41% of the farmers now planted two rice crops -- a gogorancah crop followed by a transplanted crop with minimum-tillage. Another 30% planted three crops: gogorancah, transplanted rice, and a non-rice crop. The proportion of farmers growing only one rice crop per year fell from over 30% to only 4%.
4 wetland rice
others 1% Wetland rice
1- other crops Wetland rice 14%
Others 25% fallow gorancah or
- wetland rice Dryland rice other crops
other crops Wetland rice 30% Gogorancah rice
14%e wetland rice wetland rice
- other crops
Figure 6. Cropping pattern changes in partially irrigated areas in Central Lampung, 1975-1982.
As a consequence of this intensification, the production of rice in Central Lampung increased from 222 600 tons in 1975 to 378 200 tons in 1983 (Figure 7). Tables 4 and 5 show that yields from all three crops, and earned net returns over three
times larger than those of farmers who continued practicing the traditional system.
Most farmers who adopted the new methods did so spontaneously, influenced by the success of their neighbors who cooperated with the research team in testing the new patterns.
222,570 t Wet season
Dry season 94 000 t
84 6430 t
...........'"'":::.. W et season ::
Figure .....7 (pouto nte platalyirigte
ar~_ easn Centra L34ung 195adt 93
1137 640e t ..............154
......... .o.... .......
. . . .. . .
: :: : :: :. .. .. .. .. .. .. ,
Figure 7. Rice production in the partially irrigated
areas, Central Larmpung, 1975 and 1983.
This may be seen from the experience in the project village of Nambahdadi. Starting with only 0.1 ha demonstration plot in 1976-77, the gogorancah area spread to 262 ha in 1980-81. With the help of an Opsus (Special Operation) program, the area of gogorancah increased to 640 ha in Nambahdadi and 5500 ha in the Way Seputih irrigation scheme in 1981-82. The total area in gogorancah reached a peak in 1982-83 with a total of 72 000 ha in the province of Lampung.
In the partially irrigated areas in Central Lampung, there are no plans to improve the irrigation supply, as has happened in Indramayu. This means that growing the first rice crop as gogorancah is still a useful way of planting two crops of rice a year. However, the lack of seeds and the small size of the local market may still discourage many farmers from planting legumes as a third crop in the cropping pattern.
Table 4. Multiple cropping index snd crop yields obtained by
farmers who adopted or did not adopt improved cropping
patterns. Way Seputih Irrigation Scheme, Lampung,
Type of Multiple Crop yield (t/ha)
index First rice Second rice Cowpea Fully adopting 251 3.3 3.9 0.7
new pattern 189 3.3 3.5
Adopting part of 189 3.3 3.5
Not adopting 162 3.9
The multiple cropping index measures how intensively the
land is cropped throughout the year. The higher the Index,
the more intensive the cropping pattern.
These farmers planted two rice crops per year using the.
gogorancah technique for the first crop, but did not plant
a third, non-rice crop.
Source: A Djauhari et al.
Table 5. Average costs and returns of farmers who adopted or did
not adopt improved cropping patterns. Way Seputih Irrigation Scheme, Lampung, 1981/82.
Type of Gross Cost of Cost of Net
Farmer return labor materials return
--------------000 Rp--------------Fully adopting 977.1 347.1 105.1 524.9
Adopting part of 791.7 303.0 97.9 390.8
new pattern *
Not adopting 360.8 156.0 39.6 165.2
These farmers planted two rice crops per year using the
gogorancah technique for the first crop, but did not plant a
third, nonrice crop.
$US 1 = Rp 1100 (1985)
Source: A Djauhari et al.
Lampung -- Dryland Areas
Most of the rainfed dryland areas of Lampung have redyellow podzolic soils. These soils had previously been thought unsuitable for food crops production because they are acid, infertile, and very porous. On slopes, these soils can easily be eroded. However, the cropping systems research has shown that with moderate amounts of fertilizer, and with judicious soil and crop management, these soils have considerable potential for crop production and stable farming systems. With appropriate crop management and using modern varieties, the productivity of food crops can be increased tremendously. This is true not only in Central Lampung but also in other areas such as in North Lampung and in South Sumatra province (Table 6). It must be remembered, however, that supporting infrastructure such as good roads, the availability of agricultural inputs (fertilizers, seeds and insecticides) and markets are preconditions for the agricultural development of these lands.
Table 6. Comparison of yields, net returns, and rice equivalents
of traditional and introduced cropping patterns in dryland
areas in Lampung, 1976/77 *
Central Lampung North Lampung
Traditional Introduced Traditional Introduced pattern pattern pattern pattern yield (t/ha)--------------Corn 0.8 2.0 0.9 2.6
Dryland rice 2.0 1.7 1.9 3.7
Cassava 21.1 9.8 19.9
Peanut 0.8 1.7 0.6
Ricebean 0.3 0.3
Net return 110.9 216.6 125.8 409.7
(x Rp 1000)
of unhusked rice 4.3 18.2 8.2 18.9
Traditional farmers' patterns =
Corn + dryland rice, followed by peanut (Central Lampung),
or Corn + dryland rice / cassava (North Lampung) Pattern introduced by researchers
Corn + dryland rice / cassava, relay cropped.with peanut,
followed by ricebean.
* Based on 1985 prices; $US 1 = 1100
Preliminary research proved that by returning the residue from each crop to the soil, and wfth appropriate fertilization and liming (dosage, timing and application rates), the productivity of the soil can be maintained. Once the production potential of these areas had been shown, the scientists conducted systematic research to determine the most appropriate cropping patterns. They designed various cropping patterns and improved soil and crop management, practices that enabled these soils to be used all year round. One of the cropping systems they tested included five dryland crops -- corn, dryland rice, cassava, peanut, and either ricebean or cowpea,
grown in a rotation involving relay-and inter-cropping that ensured the soil surface was continuously covered by vegetation to prevent erosion. This five-crop-per-year system produced from two to four times more food calories than the farmers' traditional pattern. Over a five-year test period at Banjarjaya in Central Lampung, for instance, it produced food calories equivalent to as much as 18.4 tons per hectare of rough rice per year, compared to 4.8 tons from the traditional pattern.
Application of the research findings in the dryland areas in Lampung has had a great impact on both regional and national crop production. In 1975, 103 700 ha of dryland rice and 28600 ha of corn were harvested in Lampung. In 1984, these areas had increased to 150 200 for rice and 97 000 ha for corn. The impact on total output was even more marked: the production of rice in 1984 was more than double that of 1975, while corn production had risen by more than 3.00% (Figure 3).
(X 1. 000 t)
/ (X 1, 000 t)
150 Area harvested
(X 1,000 ha)
I Area harvested
lOO t (X 1,000 ha)
50 / .'' ,
/ v I/
1975 76 77 78 79 30 81 82 83 84
Figure 8. Area harvested and production of dryland rice and corn, Lampung- Indonesia, 1975-84.
The production of other dryland 6rops also increased. Cassava production, for instance, increased from 644 700 tons in 1977, to 1469 000 tons in 1984; peanut output rose from 4900 to 13 700 tons, and soybean from 35 100 to 40 000 tons over the same period.
A study of Way Abung, North Lampung, in 1982 showed that substantial changes have taken place in the local farming system. In 1976, before the implementation of cropping systems research, 55% of the dryland area in Way Abung was planted to less than three crops per year. In 1982, 59% of the area was planted to three crops and 20% of the area to more than three crops per year (Figure 9). This technology has spread throughout the major dryland-rice producing areas in Indonesia.
Three crop! Less than
Year .45% 3 crops/year
55%More than Less than
Figure 9.. Cropping pattern changes in rainfed dryland areas,
Way Abung, North Lampung, 1976-1932.
IMPACT OF CROPPING SYSTEMS RESEARCH
AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL
It is unrealistic to measure the impact of the cropping systems research simply by recording the increases in crop production and farmers' incomes in a certain area. This is because many interrelated factors have contributed to these increases, including improved crop varieties, irrigation, extension, marketing, credit, and government policies.
At the national level, however, cropping systems research has had an impressive effect -- both directly and indirectly -on government policy, agricultural production programs, national crop output, and on research itself.
Cropping systems research has contributed to the formulation of national policy and to the planning of national crop production programs. In 1980, the national "5imas" (Mass Guidance) intensification program formulated recommendations for cropping systems for different land types. These recommendations covered land irrigated for 5 and 7 months, rainfed land, tidal swamps, and dryland areas. The Bimas program now provides' farmers with credit and inputs for year-round cropping patterns in dryland and rainfed wetland areas. Experience has shown that crop production programs that provide credit and inputs are vital if large numbers of farmers are to adopt the research results.
During 1980-82, the government carried out a number of "Opsus" (Special Operations) to intensify crop production in certain areas. Among these were:
* Tekad Makmur to implement the gogorancah followed by
a non-rice crop pattern in West Nusatenggara; this operation changed the province from being a food importer
into an exporter.
* Merah Megapah to implement the gogorancah -- wetland
rice non-rice pattern in Lampung.
* Subur Makmur to implement the gogorancah non-rice
pattern in West Java.
* Gemah Ripah to implement the dryland cropping pattern;
this changed the Gunung Kidul area of Central Java/Yogyakarta from a food-deficient into self-sufficient area.
Several other regional programs have been based on the cropping systems research results, or on a similar type of approach. The soybean area in Aceh province, for instance, increased from less than 10 000 ha in 1981 to more than 500 000 ha in 1985. This increase was mainly because many farmers now grow soybean after their wetland rice harvest. The same thing has happened, perhaps to a lesser extent, in Jatiluhur (West Java), and in Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi and West N usat enggara.
The success of these production programs has shown that a cropping system developed in one target area can be successfully transferred to another area with similar soils and climate, with only minor modifications. "Fine tuning" of the cropping system will, of course, be necessary to cope with variations in local conditions. The ideal cropping system will also change as the local infrastructure develops, new markets emerge, or prices alter.
In terms of national agricultural production; the double cropping of rice in Indonesia has increased markedly within the last seven years. In areas where the research results have been adopted, the yields of the second crop have also risen. Both these trends have pushed national rice production up. The national production of other food crops has also increased, especially in the last three years. This can partly be attributed to the cropping systems research program, which showed that higher production was possible through more intensive cropping systems and improved agricultural practices. All of this progress has brought about an improvement in farmers' incomes, and has reduced the national expenditure for importing rice and other crops.,
In terms of research, scientists have accepted the systems approach as the most appropriate waV of increasing crop production and farmers' welfare without disturbing the environm ent. The cropping systems research approach has been broadened and further developed into "farming systems" research. In this type of research, scientists consider the whole farm system, including food and non-food crops, animals and fisheries, the farm environment and the farm-family's non-farm activities. The pioneering work on cropping systems has produced a ready-made, flexible food-crops component for this work- Researchers are now seeking ways of using perennials and animals more efficiently in the farming system: perennial
crops such as rubber, fruit trees and coconuts can provide the farmer with more cash for little extra work, while animals such as goats or cattle can provide meat, be sold for extra income, or be used for plowing.
The cropping systems research developed a general approach and many of the on-farm research techniques that are proving invaluable as the farming systems research progresses. Scientists are now using the farming systems approach to solve problems in several land types in Indonesia, including upper river watersheds and tidal swamps. The Agency for Agricultural Research and Development of the Ministry of Agriculture has formed an interdisciplinary farming systems working group to do this work.
The direction and aims of commodity- and discipline-oriented agricultural research have shifted as a result of the cropping systems experience. Scientists working in these types of research can now see problems better from the point of view of the complete cropping system, rather than in isolation. This is true in the case of varietal improvement and in studies of fertilizer efficiency, aluminum toxicity and shade tolerance.
The cropping systems program has also strengthened the links among the organizations involved in agricultural development, such as research, extension, transmigration, public works, communication and administration, and among politicians and decision makers.
TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY
The cropping systems research consisted of five phases, from the selection and study of the target area and research site, through the design and testing of the cropping patterns, to the transfer of the new technology to the farmers. The cropping systems working group had anticipated the important role that various agencies and key personnel had to play in the program. Consequently, these agencies were made aware of the program and became involved in it at an early stage. The involvement of local government officials from the first phase onwards proved to be very useful in identifying problems and predicting the consequences of the technology to the farmers in the region. The participation of the different agencies was im24
portant to ensure the success of the program: experience has shown that the failure of technology implementation is often due to lack of support from local and national government bodies.
Most of the responsibility and workload in the first phases of the research process fell on the cropping systems researchers. Farmers usually became involved in the research process in the second phase, when economic and biological components were studied. They became more involved in the third phase, when the cropping patterns were designed and tested. Then, in the fourth and fifth phases, during the pre-production testing and implementation activities, most of the workload fell on the farmers, on extension personnel, and on local and national government staff.
Several mehods; were used to inform all those involved in the program --researchers, extension, farmers, government officials, etc. --of the progress made and the results achieved. Such communication is important not only to-transfer the research findings to those who need them, but also to maintain and improve cooperation among those involved in the research itself. Regular meetings, workshops and field days were held, personnel were given special training, and a number of publications were produced. However, informal contacts were most useful; at the research' site, these contacts worked' smoothly because farmers, researchers and extension workers all saw the need to work together.
Various meetings, including regular scientific workshops and seminars, were held to report on the progress made in the research. These meetings also gave the opportunity for members of the Cropping Systems Working Group and personnel from different agencies working in the program to improve their understanding and thus work closer together.
Field days were held to inform farmers of the new technology. These field days could be held in several locations because key personnel from the local government and extension were closely involved in the program. During these sessions, various aspects of the new technology were discussed, such as the research methods used, and the implementation and consequences of the improved cropping systems. Field days can be held during the verification trials, but were more appropriate during the pre-production or pilot production phase when the other government agencies were actively involved in the field work.
Over the last decade, the Indonesian cropping systems program has developed skilled personnel through formal training, both in Indonesia and abroad. Five special in-country croppingsystems training courses have been given to extension subjectmatter specialists. This training was organized by the Central Research Institute for Food Crops- (CRIFC) and the national Agricultural Extension Project. The instructors were CRIFC researchers; most had receiving cropping systems training at IRRI. A large number of extension subject-matter specialists have also followed cropping systems courses at IRRI (Table 7). A number of other research staff have followed specialized cropping systems training at IRRI in fields such as entomology, economics and plant breeing. This training has been very effective in broadening the trainees perception of cropping systems research and development. It has also contributed to the closer cooperation and working relationship between research and extension -- an important aspect of technology transfer.
Special training courses were held for field extension workers at the cropping systems research sites. These courses improved their knowledge of cropping systems technology and their. ability to instruct farmers how to use the new methods.
Publications are a very important means of communication, not only among scientists, but also to -inform others who are interested in research and development. Most of the publications on cropping systems have appeared in the 'form of symposium proceedings. These books are invaluable sources of information on the cropping systems research findings and the development process.
Table 7. Numbers of staff from Indonesian research and extension
agencies attending cropping systems training at IRRI,
Research Extension Total
1974 -1979 36 48 84
1980 1985 13 7 20
Total 49 55 104
Cropping systems research has made major contributions to agricultural development in Indonesia's partially irrigated and rainfed dryland areas. This research has found ways of using under-utilized lands, and of cropping existing productive agricultural land more intensively and productively. In the partially irrigated areas in both Indramayu and Lampung, research has shown that double cropping of rice is feasible by introducing the gogorancah (direct seeded) system, reducing turn-around time, planting early maturing rice varieties, and improving crop management. In the rainfed dryland areas, the research has shown that if they are managed properly, soils previously thought unsuitable for permanent cultivation of annual food crops can be cropped continuously without becoming infertile. In these areas, intensive cropping systems involving five or more crops per year enable farmers to be self-sufficient in food crops, and can guarantee them a reasonable livelihood. In the long run, a more stable and sustainable agriculture will dependon a mixed far ming system involving animals and perennial crops as well as food crops.
Farmers both in the immediate target areas and in regions with similar soils and climate have widely adopted the intensified cropping methods developed through the research. The findings have supported the intensification of cropping in Indonesia 's partially irrigated wetlands, and the expansion of dryland agriculture outside Java in areas settled by transmigrants. The total food production in these areas has thus greatly increased as a result of the reseach, enabling farmers to improve their livelihood, and helping Indonesia to feed its growing population.
A number of lessons can be learned from the cropping systems experience in Indonesia. First, it has shown the importance of on-farm research in developing new cropping techniques that farmers can and will accept. Experiment farms run by research institutes can provide "ideal" conditions under which various components of a new set of farming methods can be developed and tested. But only research in farmers' fields can fully test the new methods, show their weaknesses, and point out what problems remain to be solved.
A second lesson is the importance of involving farmers, extension workers, and government officials from the beginning of the research and development, process. They provide valuable
in-sights into problems and possible solutions at the research stage, and their cooperation is essential later if the research results are to reach a large number of farmers over a wide area.
Third, the Indonesian cropping systems program has shown the importance of government production programs in encouraging large numbers of farmers to accept the new techniques. These production programs combine extension and training for farmers with the provision of credits and subsidized inputs to enable them to take advantage of the improved cropping systems.
Finally, experience has demonstrated that the research results can be transferred from the original target area to other areas with similar climate, soils, and socio-economic conditions. The cropping patterns developed can be used -- with modifications to suit local conditions -- in wide areas of Indonesia. This means that the original investment made in cropping systems research has paid off by raising farmers' welfare and increasing food production throughout the country.
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