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Environmental Multifunctionality of Indonesian Agriculture

F. Agus, Irawan, H. Suganda, Wahyunto, A. Setiyanto, M. Kundarto


Industrial and urban developments in Indonesia focus on the economic merits, but neglect agricultural services that, when disappear, will destabilize the environmental and livelihood systems. A series of 5-year study has evaluated various aspects of multifunctionality and implications of paddy field conversion on the disappearance of multifunctionality. Soil loss from a series of 18 terraced paddy fields in central Java is negligible. Only a few terraces located along the streams directly caused sedimentation. The functions of flood mitigation, water-resource conservation, erosion reduction, organic waste disposal, heat mitigation, and rural amenity of paddy fields in Citarum watershed in West Java were significant. The replacement cost of such functions was about 51% ($92.67 million yr-1) of the total price of rice of $181.34 million y-1 produced in the 156,000 ha paddy field. This amount could be considered as free services by the farmers to the society. However, because of society negligence and unawareness, conversion has been accelerating while development of newpaddy fields has been decelerating in the last few years. Low and fluctuating price of agricultural products, unavailability or non-affordability of agricultural supplies and inaccessibility to market are among the major disincentives faced by farmers. Because of appreciable multifunctionality they produce, farmers deserve various incentives for the sake of environmental sustainability and other services.

Keywords Flood mitigation; Water-resource conservation; Erosion reduction; Organic waste disposal; Heat mitigation. Rural amenity
Makalah diterbitkan pada Paddy Water Environ (2006) 4:181-188

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