7. My assignments in Indonesia: 1979-2003

The following report is an account of my work from 1979 to 2003 in Indonesia, in which country I completed fourteen different assignments as an agricultural economist and farming systems research specialist.

The Period 1979-1996

During this period, I worked as an agricultural economist and farming systems research specialist for the Development and Technical Assistance Agencies, listed below:

  1. FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization: Assigned to the Farming Systems Project West Java and Lampung Provinces Indonesia: 1979-1980. Was responsible for an initial socio economic study of traditional West Java food crop agriculture. 
  2. The Directorate General for Technical Co-operation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands:
    - Malang Research Institute for Food Crops.1981-1989. Was the coordinator of the Institute’s “On farm research “program, under which program several hundreds of on-farm trials were conducted with cooperating farmers in east Java and other areas and a number of international training courses for agricultural researchers were organized. The Institute’s “On-farm research program” was also visited by a number of officials, among which the Dutch Prime Minister, Minister Lubbers in November 1988.
    -Strengthening the Lembang Horticulture Institute: Evaluation Mission 1989
  3. The Economic and Social Commission for Asia & the Pacific of the United Nations: Assigned to The Regional Co-ordination Center for Research and Development of Coarse Grains, Pulses, Roots-and Tuber crops in the Humid Tropics of Asia and the Pacific in Bogor, 1989-1995 as Program Leader for Human Development Resources, covering all 15 Asian and Pacific member countries of ESCAP. Organized in this assignment 17 international workshops and training courses in Asian countries for Asian agricultural researchers, among which training courses in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines & Viet Nam.
  4. The Commission of the European Communities Technical Assistance Program for Developing Countries in Asia and Latin America: 1995-1996 & 1998:
    -Palawija Seed Production & Marketing Project: 1995-1996
    Coordinated the Indonesian national soybean seed supply study, for which fieldwork was conducted in five Indonesian Provinces.
    -Evaluation study of the North Bali Ground Water Irrigation and Water Supply Project: 1998 Member of the evaluation team.

    The period 1996-2003
    During this period, I worked as an agricultural economic and financial analyst for the following development projects, preparing economic and financial internal return calculations and other analysis work for agricultural development projects for the agencies listed under 5 & 6.

  5. The following projects, financed by the World Bank and located in the Ministries of Public Works, Settlement & Regional Infra Structure and Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia:
    - Java Irrigation Improvement & Watershed Resources Management: 1996 and 1999
    - Nusatenggara Agricultural Development Project: Naibonat Kupang, NTT: 1997
    - Sulawesi Rain-fed Agricultural Development Project 1998
    - Ground Water Development Project: 1998-1999
    - The Irrigated Swamp Development Project 2000
    - Water Resources and Irrigation Sector Management Program: 2003
  6. In addition I was involved in the following projects:
    - Prefeasibility Study of the Pulisan Ecotourism Project: Minahasa Permai Resort Development 1997
    - Prefeasibility study for Development of a Sugar Estate for Central Kalimantan: Salim group 1999

All my assignments, in Indonesia, during the period 1979-2003, concerned farming systems research. In particular how to involve on a practical level, the farmers concerned, in this research approach, utilizing fully the extensive practical understanding of basic farming problems, which many traditional food crop farmers possess, to help solve basic farm problems at the grass root levels.  In this context I define a farming system as the unit of agricultural production of the smallholder farmer and his family, including crops and livestock and related farm activities.

During my work in Indonesia I had the privilege to study a large number of traditional food crop farming systems covering the entire country from Aceh to East Timor Provinces. At this moment, I would therefore thank all these Indonesian small farmers, who took their time to discuss with me their farms and to thank them for the great hospitality I received. Most of my knowledge and understanding of traditional food crop farming in Indonesia was acquired from my contacts with these kind and Indonesian farmers.