by Robiyanto Hendro Susanto/Sriwijaya University/Lowland Data & Information CentreÂ on Indonesian National Committee of ICID
Lowland development in Indonesia has been considering conservation of the natural resources and biodiversity, adaptive method of development, and the modified environment for agricultural development. Out of 33 million ha of lowlands, most of them being conserved, 4.2 mil ha has been developed by the spontaneous settler and private sector (2.4 mil ha) and sponsored by the government (1.8 mil ha) scattered mostly in the island of Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua.
An increasing population growth in Indonesia (234 mil people in 2010) and the loss of productive land in Java of 40.000 ha/year due to land conversion to the non-agricultural uses will cause food security problems in the near future if not anticipated. The existing reclaimed lowland for food production under government sponsored program (1.8 mil ha) would be possible as the main solution for food security in Indonesia provided some efforts are conducted. Success stories on lowland schemes improvement, farmers empowerment, farming system technology, and local government intervention can be studied and adapted in such other areas.
Participatory approach on integrated food production in tidal lowlands in South Sumatra (from 2002) and West Kalimantan (from 2007) has shown a great increased in food production mainly rice in that area. The integration of the programme conducted to support the food production in the lowlands schemes under the Strengthening Tidal Lowlands Development (STLD) is only possible with the support of related parties. i.e.: The Directorate General of Water Resources, Ministry of Public Works; Rijkwaterstaat â€“ Partner for Water of the Netherlands, Local government of South Sumatra province, Banyuasin district, West Kalimantan province, Kubu Raya and Sambas districts, the support from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Republic of Indonesia; the Water Users Association/ Farmers Group, Private sectors and the Community Organizers.
The lesson learnt from LWMTL/ STLD: Assessment needed Water Control Infrastructures, Operation and maintenance with Water Users Association (WUA); Farming system technology with farming systems approach. Multi stakeholders participation include : Governments-Farmers/ WUA-NGO-Academics-Private Sectors. Capacity building and human resources development on the lowlands are of important.
Keywords: Lowland development, Food Production, STLD, Operation and Maintenance.