Analyzing Farmers’ Learning Process in Sustainable Development: The Case of Organic Paddy Farmers in North Sumatra, Indonesia
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Rice is the staple food grain for Indonesians. With the increasing population, Indonesia has tried to improve its rice production by using high yielding varieties (HYV) and more chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Initially the program was quite successful, but later production began to stagnate with subsequent environmental and health issues. As an alternative, Indonesia embarked on wide scale promotion of organic rice farming. However, success seems unlikely. One of the first barriers to successful implementation was that not many rice crop (paddy) farmers converted their farms to the organic system. In fact, this chapter relates that the early stages of farmers’ learning process actually went smoothly but did not continue in the final stages. Lack of time, labor, and funds to cover extra activities of the first years of the conversion mainly explain the barriers for farmers to complete the learning process. The barriers need to be understood and addressed in order to improve the sustainable integration of organic rice farming into Indonesian cultural practices.