An overview of traditional food crop farming systems 1980-2000

An overview of traditional food crop farming systems 1980-2000-

  1. West Java: Rice based mixed farming systems: 1980
  2. Madura: Maize based mixed farming systems:1982
  3. East Java: Maize based mixed farming systems: 1982-1989
  4. Soybean seed systems in five Provinces of Indonesia:1995
    Aceh, North Sumatera, West Java, East Java, Lombok and Sumbawa
  5. Monograph: Farmer Participatory Research Methods
  6. My assignments in Indonesia 1980-2000
  7. List of reports by Charles van Santen 1980-2003


Traditional Indonesian Food Crop Farming during the 1980’s
In the following passage a summary of findings of studies of development programs is given, which aimed at improving traditional agricultural food crop farming systems in Indonesia and in which studies I participated as an agricultural economic researcher.  The following text is accompanying the four chapters of the photo galleries of my professional work in Indonesia.

In 1980 over 50% of the Indonesian population of some 200 million inhabitants was still dependent on traditional farming. Farm size averaged less than 0.5 ha on Java Island and between one and two hectares on the outer islands, reflecting differences in soil and climatic conditions.

On Java and in the other areas with favorable physical conditions, including soils, rainfall and irrigation and infra structure situation, most farms were producing two to three crops per year resulting in an average cropped area per annum of over 1 ha on Java and 2 to 3 ha in the outer islands.

Many farm families, with a farm size of less than 0. 25 ha, were part- time farming and part- time working as laborers, either on another farm or in other local industries to supplement their income. Farm activities varied widely between areas depending on local conditions and choices.

  • Food crops: rice, maize, soybean, groundnut and cassava
  • Vegetables: onions, leaf and root vegetables;
  • Tree crops: Coffee, tea, cocoa, cloves, oil palm, coconut, banana, mango and fruit trees. 
  • Shrubs: vanilla 
  • Livestock: caribou, cattle, sheep, goats, chicken and ducks 
  • Fish cultivation in fishponds

Each particular farming system focused on a selection of the above farming enterprises according to local physical and infra structural conditions, market demands and traditions.
Most farms produced two to four different main crops and several minor crops.

Farming practices differed widely between areas and provided a wide range of different farming patterns and systems in Indonesia, due the very wide range in different physical farm conditions between farming areas.  

The four traditional farming systems included in this photo gallery:

  1. West Java: 1979-1980:  Rice based lowland irrigated farming below 500m and upland vegetable farming 500 m and higher. Images CVSIND001-024.
  2. Madura: 1982: Maize based mixed rain fed farming at sea level.Images CVSIND025-102
  3. East Java: 1983-1989: Maize based mixed upland farming on young volcanic soils at 400–1000 m above sea level. Images CVSIND103-197
  4. Soybean seed farming systems in five provinces of Indonesia 1995:
    1.Aceh, 2.North Sumatra 3.West Java 4.East Java 5.Nusa Tenggara Barat:
    Images CVSIND 198-2611.