. The demand for agricultural land increases with the increasing population and the demand for food. Availability of the fertile, more suitable land, is decreasing and thus future development should include sub-optimal lands. Sub-optimal lands are those land with low natural fertility due to the intrinsic properties and environmental forming factors. For evaluating the characteristics and potentials of Indonesian sub-optimal lands we analyzed the tabular and spatial land resources database using the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and field observations. The analysis resulted in groupings of sub-optimal lands into, acid upland, semi-arid upland, acid sulfate tidal swamp, inland swamplands and peatland. From the total of 189.2 million ha Indonesian land, about 108.8 million ha is classified as acid upland, distributed mainly in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua. Semi-arid uplands of 13.3 million ha is distributed in East Kalimantan, East Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara. The swampland, consisted of 11 million ha tidal swamps, 9.2 million ha inland swamp and 14.9 million ha peatlands in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua. Among the 157.2 million ha sub-optimal lands, about 91.9 million ha are suitable, but 70 million ha have been used for various uses of agriculture, infrastructure and settlement, and the remaining 21.9 million ha can be considered as land reserve for future uses with an intensified competition between sub-sectors (plantations, food crops, horticulture) as well as across sectors (mining, industry, infrastructure, settlement). The use of sub-optimal lands will become the last resort that should be managed wisely by technological innovation in accordance with the land characteristics and typologies. Maintenance and intensification of existing agricultural must also be done to address the ever-increasing demands for food, oil, fiber and timber.