Saturday, November 13, 2010

Field visit - Desa Sidomulyo in Indonesia

The visit  to Desa Sidomulyo was arranged after the Conference in Semarang on Nov 2010. I went to Semarang with Yusof Ahmad on Nov 8, and considered lucky since on that particular day Air Asia managed to fly to Solo after canceling all the flight to Solo, Yogyakarta and Bandung on Nov 6 and  7, due to Mt Merapi eruption which contaminated the sky with volcanic ash.  On approaching Solo, I could see the effect of the volcanic ash where the sky was hazy and could not see anything far beyond, although on the ground it seemed to be cleared. That could be the reason for the cancellation of the flights from Nov 9 onward.
The conference (The first International Conference on Regional Development: Vulnerability, resilience and Sustainability) started on Nov 9, and I was asked to be a moderator for the plenary session in the morning and the next day presented a paper on Regional Development in Malaysia. 
Photograph session at the Conference

There were a wide variety of papers ranges from outlining the concepts of sustainable development to detail studies on specific topics at regional and local levels.  Disaster management seemed to be popular topics presented by a number of participants. There were a few good papers but overall mixture of focus between regional and local development.  However, sustainable development seemed to be receiving more attention by academics and practitioners in Indonesia. The occurrence of frequent disasters that  had caused devastating effects to the property and life of the society as well as  pressure on limited  resources could trigger increased awareness and alert on issues related to sustainability.  
Me, Pak Agung, Prof. Wawoeroentoe (left back) Dr David Wadley (behind)
We visited Desa Sidomulyo in Demak district on Nov 11, after meeting with Drs Agus Suryono and officials at Badan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Provinsi Java Tengah in Semarang.   In Demak we also met officials of Kabupaten Office .
Desa Sidomulyo- jambu air planted in the economic cluster concept
 Desa Sidomulyo is basically located on low land area; paddy is the main crop but due to economic cluster initiative the villagers had decided   to plant jambu air as a new crop along with paddy.    We can see jambu air everywhere, in the house compounds, along village streets, river banks, irrigation canals and on the bounds of the paddy fields.  
Jambu  air  are also planted in the paddy field

The houses looked beautiful, the floor a bit up from the ground with pillars placing on small foundation blocks. The traditional Javanese design of the house used local materials- wooded structure, and mud-tile roof. Village road mostly unpaved, with holes patching the   muddy surfaces. 
Traditional house at the village
Planting jambu air can provide good income to the village people, the price normally maintain around   Rupiah 6000 (RM2.50) per kg. The main challenge is marketing, need to send to cities soon after harvest since it can last only three days if left expose but a few days longer if properly wrap and store in cool temperature. So far it has not yet penetrates international market. Jambu air tree produce fruit twice per year (November/Mei) and a matured jampu tree (about 6 years old) can produce about 70 kg of fruits each season.  
Jambu air-  sweet- juicy, soft and crunchy
In Indonesia the  economic forums are the platforms for farmers to meet and co-operative. Problems were discussed and some of the important decision were made during the meeting.
irrigation canal in the village


  1. it surely a nice experience it OVOP can be considerd in that place?( Desa Sidomulyo)beside the paddy ?

  2. They called it local economic cluster. The idea is to create some kind of agglomeration economy, such as in marketing, sharing of extension services and other inputs. During our discussion on OVOP in UTM last October 2010, Pak Holy from Diponegoro University, after listening to the presentation on OVOP he claimed that economic cluster concept not much different from OVOP. Some variations on the role of government and it seems that Indonesian experience tended to be more participatory? Japan is more advanced in term of R&D and the penetration into global market.