Finding repository knowledge on green revolution history in Indonesia

Monday, 10th July 2017

When the Indonesian Government finds it important to expose the Indonesian students with the Green Revolution knowledge, they seek facts and inputs from one of the ILC Member in Indonesia, Sajogyo Institute (SAINS),  to perceive alternative views about the Green Revolution practice in Indonesia.

Rice is one of the important agricultural products in Indonesia. It instead more than a staple in Indonesia; it dominated the political economy of the country. Additionally, rice plays an important economic role, since it is the main product of the villages of Java. It is the livelihood for a large part of the rural population, which constitutes 65% of the total population. This points to the favoritism that Javanese farmers have received over those in the outer islands. Another important factor to elevate paddy production in Indonesia is seed technology.

Advanced technology in seed and fertilizer allows Indonesia to enter the Green Revolution which has been improving overall performance in agricultural systems. Although fertilizers have been monumental in Indonesian rice production, there has been limited data on the use of fertilizers throughout the nation, specifically in rice farming. (source).

Benjamin White recorded, “This is the period in which the focus in agricultural development, in Indonesia and many other countries, shifted from structural change through ‘agrarian reform’ to technological change through the ‘green revolution’.” (Benjamin White, “Gunawan Wiradi, The Agro Economy Survey and Indonesia’s Green Revolution”, dalam Gunawan Wiradi, Ranah Studi Agraria, Penguasaan Tanah dan Hubungan Agraris, (Yogyakarta: STPN, 2009), hal. xiv.)

Full support was obtained from America through giant donors such as Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, World Bank, USAID in building IRRI, as the one and only rice research institution during the Green Revolution project. Their main role is, “to do basic research on the rice plant and applied research on all phases of rice production, management, distribution and utilization”. (The statement was written Pernyataan in the MoU built in New York dated back on 9 December, 1959. (Reference: Melacak Sejarah Pemikirian Agraria, Ahmad Nashih Luthfi, Pg. 69).

Reported by our member in Indonesia, Sajogyo Institute (SAINS), who mainly works on production and knowledge service for social movement progress and agrarian policy improvement, and rural development in the contry, the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture paid a visit to their office on 17 June 2017, aiming to obtain repository knowledge to include the Green Revolution knowledge into the Indonesian’s school curriculum.

Hosting them in their office, SAINS was presenting Dr. Gunawan Wiradi, the well-known agrarian reform scholar cum activist in Indonesia, and also Dr. Trichandra Apriyanto, an expert in history, to provide them with thorough insight, point of view, and knowledge about Green Revolution in Indonesia.

Facilitated by SAINS Director, Eko Cahyono, the discussion was constructively built together with the twenty people who were representing the Ministry, under the History Directorate General. It was concluded in the discussion, that there will be further research and study in related to literatures and evidences found about the Green Revolution. 

Fact sources: "Melacak Sejarah Pemikirian Agraria" by Ahmad Nashih Luthfi, "Ranah Studi Agraria, Penguasaan Tanah dan Hubungan Agraris" by Gunawan Wiradi, SAINS (Eko Cahyono), and

Cover Photo credit by ILC Asia

Featured photo credit by SAINS