University’s Inclusion in Providing Climate Services to Farmers: Is It Possible Without Agricultural Agents and Farmer Facilitators?

  • Yunita T. WinartoEmail author
  • Sue Walker
  • Rhino Ariefiansyah
  • Iqbal H. Lisan
  • Maudy Y. Bestari
  • Tiara Audina
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Since the early 1970s, agricultural extension services in Indonesia have been developed based on the “Training and Visit” model to reach targets of increasing crop productivity. Until recently, extension services have been neither modified nor improved to accommodate farmers’ needs to respond to the consequences of climate change. Accordingly, farmers have been left to fend for themselves, often helpless to survive the impacts of increasing climate variability. Significant reductions in yields and harvest failures have been common in many parts of Indonesia. Two crucial dimensions have been missing in the existing extension approach, nurturance and trust. This paper examines recent agrometeorological improvements by farmers, through Science Field Shops (SFSs) provided by anthropologists and their students from Universitas Indonesia, in collaboration with agrometeorologists from the University of the Free State, and earlier from C. J. Stigter (Agromet Vision). Based on the lessons learned over the past decade, where agricultural extension practitioners provided climate services without “nurture and trust” built into the ongoing collaboration between scientists, students, farmers, and agricultural agents; the educational commitment did not yield effective results. The strategies and processes developed by the university’s interdisciplinary team show how those two dimensions were incorporated when SFSs were introduced in a new location, Sumedang Regency in West Java Province. SFSs included rainfall observers, scientists and students, as well as high-ranking local agricultural officials and farmer facilitators. They proved to be vital to the furtherance of farmers’ lifelong education and livelihoods.


University’s inclusion Nurture and trust Agricultural extension Climate services Science Field Shops 



The authors are grateful for the support of Universitas Indonesia through its Directorate for Innovation and Business Incubation (2018–2019), which enabled the SFSs to be implemented in the Regency of Sumedang. Our sincere gratitude also to: the late Prof. C. J. Stigter, who initiated the establishment of the SFSs in Indonesia; the following previous donor agencies (2013–2018): Australia Research Council; Knowledge Sector Initiative (Australian and Indonesian bilateral agreement); and Indonesia Climate Change Trust Fund, of the Ministry for Planning and Development. Without the collaboration of Sumedang Agricultural Regency Office, the farmers, research assistants and students from the Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Indonesia, and The South African National Research Foundation via the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein for funding Prof Sue Walker’s international travel, the work would not be accomplished. Our gratitude to their agreement to collaborate.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yunita T. Winarto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sue Walker
    • 2
  • Rhino Ariefiansyah
    • 1
  • Iqbal H. Lisan
    • 1
  • Maudy Y. Bestari
    • 1
  • Tiara Audina
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Social and Political SciencesUniversitas IndonesiaDepokIndonesia
  2. 2.Department of Soil, Crop & Climate Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural SciencesUniversity of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa

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