Rice Production*


Although Indonesia produce a range of agricultural products, including exotic introductions from Latin America thanks to the early Spanish and Portuguese settlers, the staple produce remains rice.
With the exception of Bali and most of Java, plus a few much smaller patches across the archipelago, the soil is just as poor in Indonesia as it is elsewhere in the tropics. In sparsely populated areas of Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and West Java, where the peasants moved from one place to another, a form of shifting cultivation or ladang developed. In ladang cultivation, the jungle is burned off to spend up the normal process of decomposition and enrich the soil in preparing for planting, but the soil quickly loses its fertility. When the top cover of forest is removed the intense heat and heavy rain soon leach the soil of its nutrients. As a result, settled agriculture is impossible without the continuous addition of soil nutrients.

Drying the paddy
 ever after cultivate times coming. [lsdpqt.doc.]
On the other hand, the rich volcanic soils of most of Java, Bali and Western Lombok have allowed wet rice, or sawah, cultivation in flooded rice fields. Rice cultivation in terraced sawah and is widely seen as a contributing factor to the development of the prolific civilisations on Java and later on Bali The development of the fields, particularly in the highland areas where extensive terracing took place, required great organisations, either at a co-operative vilage level or through the suppression of a peasant work force.
The wonder of this method of agriculture is that sawah fields can keep producing two or even three crops a year, year after year, with little or no drop in soil fertility. The profundity of sawah fields cannot be attributed to soil fertility alone, however, for this astonishing ecosystem depends on the water to provide nutrients and the bacteria produced in the water also aids the extraction of nitrogen. Other nutrients are provided by the remains of the previous crop, the addition of extra organic material and the aeration of the soil through water movement in the field.
After each harvesting of rice, the stubble from the crop is ploughed back into the field, traditionally using bullocks. Small carpets of the best rice seed are planted and when ready, seedlings are prized apart and laboriously transplanted in even rows in an inundated field flooded to a few centimetres. The level of the water is crucial in the life cycle of the rice plant and the water is increased in depth as the plant grows and then slowly drained as harvest approaches, until the field is dry at harvest time. The field may also be drained during the growing period, to weed the field or to aerated the soil.
From 1968, the government has introduced schemes to improve productivity, such as introduction of high-yield varieties of rice; however, the basic method of sawah farming has remained unchanged for generations.
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Re-write by Arif Burhan from Indonesian 4th editions, published by Lonely Planet Publications 1995: page 50 that writed by Peter Turner. Re-write for non-commercial aid and was arhived for Youth Qaryah Thayyibah Farmer organization archive, Salatiga, Central Java, Indonesia. 

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