Agricultural development in Indonesia is a major focus of a multinational farming project between New Zealand’s University of Massey and East Indonesia’s University of Mataram.
Five academics from the University of Mataram visited New Zealand from 26 February to 8 March to develop educational programmes for Indonesian farmers in collaboration with academics from Massey's Institute of Agriculture and Environment.
Back in Indonesia, the academics are now producing guidelines to train field staff at Agribusiness Support Centres on monitoring and evaluating projects, which Chris Anderson, associate professor at Massey's Institute of Agriculture and Environment, said would assist in allowing Indonesian farmers to “farm smarter and ultimately lead better lives”.
“A New Zealand Farmer decides how to manage production by looking at the maximum output they can get without detrimental effects on future output of that farm. Using a variety of tools at their disposal, they would find a level that meets this year’s optimum without harming future production,” Anderson said.
“An Indonesia farmer often doesn’t have the luxury of thinking about next year or have the tools to be efficient, and may overwork the land just to produce enough food to feed their family through the dry season – only to suffer the after effects of such an aggressive farming method in the future.”
The programme includes working with fresh fruit and vegetable growers in North Lombok, and is part of the four-year NZ$4.2m ‘East Indonesia Innovative Farm Systems and Capability for Agribusiness Activity’ project.