Extension in Indonesia: Past, Present, and Future

Graeme MacRae

3Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

Indonesia has had an agricultural extension system for over a century, reaching a peak during the Green Revolution decades of the 1970s and 80s and becoming world-famous for its Farmer Field Schools in the 1990s, but since then it has gone into decline and is now in a condition widely recognised as a crisis. The reasons are multiple and the current solutions proposed involve a typically neoliberal mixture of privatisation and volunteerisation. This paper, based on field research since the 1990s, maps the national contours of this crisis, explores it in more depth at a local ethnographic level in Bali, and assesses critically the options for future extension services.


Dr Graeme Macrae is Senior Lecturer at Massey University, New Zealand. He teaches Anthropology and researches mostly in Bali, sometimes in Java and occasionally in India. His research has been on a wide range of topics, but at present is focused on food and agriculture in Indonesia.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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