1.16. Agrometeorological Learning as Policy Learning in a Changing Climate:Would the State Changes its Policies if the Farmers Change their Strategies?


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Yunita T. Winarto (Universitas Indonesia)
Kees Stigter (Agromet Vision, The Netherlands, Indonesia, and Africa)
Rhino Ariefiansyah (Center of Anthropological Studies, Universitas Indonesia)
Adlinanur F. Prihandiani (Center of Anthropological Studies, Universitas Indonesia)

Abstract

Since 2008, an agrometeorologist has been collaborating with an anthropologist and her students from Universitas Indonesia to facilitate farmers in several places in Indonesia (Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta; Indramayu, West Java; and East Lombok, West Nusatenggara) engaging in agrometeorological learning to enable them adapting better to the unusual risks of climate change. In the past 8 years, both parties (interdisciplinary scientists and farmers) have been developing a new extension approach: “Science Field Shops” (SFSs, Warung Ilmiah Lapangan [WIL]), a dialogical knowledge exchange in which farmers themselves became researchers measuring rainfall and observing the agroecosystems of their fields. Guiding these data takings is among seven climate services provided by the scientists through using local Knowledge Transfer and Communication Technologies (KCTCs). The agrometeorological learning improved farmers’ knowledge and practices and produced ‘policy learning’ through changes in beliefs, attitudes, behaviours, and goals due to transfer of new knowledge. Those changes are crucial for farmers’ struggles to survive and to improve their livelihood in the midst of ongoing climate change. Whilst farmers have proved their capability to modify their strategies, this has not been the case with the rural policy makers in the area. Improving people’s livelihood in the midst of changes needs the government’s involvement and support. Yet, our efforts to promote SFSs to policy makers so as to induce ‘policy learning for farmers’ needs and agricultural production’ have seldom produced satisfactory results. The paper examines in detail how the ‘process of policy learning’ via changes in farmers’ strategies and the state’s policies has developed, with what results, and why those differences in results have emerged.

Keywords: agrometeorological learning, policy learning, Science Field Shops (Warung Ilmiah Lapangan), Knowledge Transfer and Communication Technologies (KTCTs), farmers’ strategies, government policies