FAO in Indonesia

Indonesian farmers gear up to face the challenges of climate change

ramayu farmer learn one of advanced technique to predict impact of climate changes in paddy field


Climate change is affecting the livelihoods and food security of rural people around the world. However, when it comes to making policies to address climate change impacts, national decision-makers often do not have access to crucial evidence of climate change at the local level. Furthermore, it is common for projects aiming to implement climate change adaptation strategies to lack relevant information on country-specific vulnerabilities.

To fill in these information gaps, the FAO, together with the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture and the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG), has implemented the Analysis and Mapping of Impacts under Climate Change for Adaptation and Food Security (AMICAF) project, funded by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

AMICAF relies upon a modelling system called MOSAICC which creates an assessment of the impacts of climate change to agriculture).The results from simulations by MOSAICC can be used by experts from national institutions, policymakers, scientists, students and members of the civil society to raise awareness of the potential impacts of climate change and the need for adaptation. In addition, MOSAICC helps countries gather the information they need to understand the specific impacts of climate change on national and local agriculture. It also intends to help build the capacities of target countries to carry out these analyses beyond the life of the project.

“The project was designed to support recipient countries and for the results of the study to be to be shared with policy makers to enable them to formulate policies based on evidence . The long-term impact of this program is projected to support vulnerable groups in the agricultural sector, especially farmers, to address food insecurity challenges resulting from climate changes” explained Hiroki Sasaki, AMICAF International Project Manager.

The research includes evidence based adaption planning targeted at vulnerable household groups through impact assessment, the development of information and mapping systems for food security and climate change.

The first phase of AMICAF was launched in the Philippines and Peru. It has now also been fully implemented in Indonesia and Paraguay and is ready to be scaled up by Governments in each respective country.

“Climate change is a reality and we have to plan well to face this big challenge of our time. We hope that the government is able to respond to climate change challenges better by allocating resources more effectively and by prioritizing more vulnerable areas, sectors, crops, and groups of people in the making and implementation of climate change adaptation strategies “, said Mark Smulders, FAO Representative in Indonesia.

Preparations needed to face the grim future

Research that has been ongoing since 2015 reached some important conclusions at the end of last week. These results are expected to be useful for follow up research in Indonesia, especially in regard to climate change adaption activities.

Some of the findings are:

• In the future 2040-2069 period, Indonesia’s temperatures are projected to continue to increase (with respect to 1971-2000 baseline temperatures) across the country, surpassing more than 20C.

• The spatial distribution of average rainfall of the 1971-2000 historical reference period compared to the 2040-2069 target scenario period shows that precipitation has high spatial variability. Some areas will experience an increase while some other areas will experience a decrease in rainfall. However, total average annual rainfall is projected to increase by up to 40 %.

• There are 8 provinces in Indonesia (West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, South Sulawesi, South Sumatera, South Kalimantan and East Nusa Tenggara) which were analyzed in regard to the impact of climate change on yields of three major crops.. The results show an extreme decrease in agricultural yields (<1,5 tons/ha) for rice/maize and(<0,5 tons/ha) for soybeans that are predicted to occur in some areas of Java and East Nusa Ttenggara over the coming 20-50 years. Grobogan and Jember Districs, which are known as some of the main rice producing area in Central Java and East Java, are at a high risk for decreased yields in all commodities.

• Water availability in several places in Java, Nusa Tenggara and Sulawesi will become critical in the next 20-30 years.

• At the household level, more than one third of Indonesian farming families are predicted to become vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Based on the findings, several recommendations are suggested from the research. One recommendation is that high technology inputs are required for high risk regions, including the development and improvement of watershed infrastructure, adaptive superior varieties, certified seeds, balanced organic and inorganic fertilizers, agricultural machinery, cropping calendar arrangements, and extension for awareness of climate information. Policy to respond to climate change impacts in both the near and far future should be developed and implemented in the appropriate manner.

Indramayu pilot project for climate change adaptation

The FAO is also supporting the Climate Farmer Field Schools run by the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) by providing farmers with results from climate change projections and related analyses. Indramayu district in West Java was designated as the site for a pilot project to increase the local peoples’ capacity to face the impacts of climate change. Indramayu was chosen as the pilot for this project because the area has been known as the rice basket of West Java. Therefore, the farmers need to be at the front line to face the impacts of climate change.
In Indramayu various officials were involved in the training, including farmer group leaders, extension workers and representatives of the local agricultural service district office (Dinas) andDistrict Planning and Development Agency (Bappeda). The training followed the same structure of the Farmer Field School (FFS) in order to introduce Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) concepts which were prepared by each technical working group under AMICAF to create an Impacts Analysis of Climate Change on Agriculture and Food Insecurity Vulnerability for farmers at the household level.

The participants were involved in a series of tutorials, practical tasks and group discussions, both pre-test and post-test, to measure the level of knowledge and simple understanding of the impacts of climate change on agriculture.

In some sessions, the farmers also demonstrated traditional approaches in predicting the climate which were distinct from the techniques and data modelling provided by the Climate Agency.

“We expect that FFSs will equip farmers with knowledge of future planting patterns so that they can adjust their planting periods based on the based on information about climate changes,” said Pudji Setiyani from theMeteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG).
She adds that these field schools, in addition to agricultural extension services, can help “guide the farmers in adapting to climate change and in maintaining optimal production even though the climate is changing.”
The material presented during the training was based on MOSAICC’s results. This allowed the researchers from IAARD and BMKG to integrate scientific information into the design of agricultural development projects and, also into the economic decision-making of farmers in managing agricultural inputs. The result of the study may further aid in developing appropriate policies for the future.

About FAO Indonesia