This report summarizes some of thefindings of AKATIGA's study on food self-sufficiency relating to changesin small-scale rice farming systems in 12 rice-producing villages.
Small-scale farming in this study is examined in relation to the social efficiency framework, which focuses on the equitable distribution of resources and assesses policies and their outcomes in relation to their contribution to society's developmental goals.This study found that many common assumptions made by today's agricultural research and policy community in Indonesia need to be scrutinized. These include the relationship between farm size and productivity,, the inequality of the existing agrarian structure, and the impact of agricultural technology on employment and income distribution.One cause for concern is the high degree of concentration of ownership and control of land in rice-producing villages. Large-scale land ownership does not generate large-scale farms but an increase in the number of share-tenants and lease-tenants. Even very small farms can produce high yields, and there is some indication that within the ‘smallholder' sector,yields on smaller farms are higher than on larger farms. Land tenure status does not appear to significantly affect yields.The most common constraint to productivity is pest damage (in all villages, but most of all in those villages that have abandoned synchronised planting), and in some villages chronic flooding.Farmers are highly dependent on external inputs and generally on powerful local actors to obtain them, often in debt relationships.Various new technologies and practices (Atabela transplating machines, direct planting, and combine harvesters) do not increase per hectare productivity but reduce labour opportunities in transplanting and harvesting, which remain important sources of income for the landless and near-landless, particularly women.