COVID-19, Agriculture, and rural development

Crawford School of Public Policy
Photo by Tomas Forgac on Flickr

Event details

Public Seminar

Date & time

Thursday 15 April 2021


Online via Zoom


Honorary Associate Professor Chris Manning (The Australian National University); Professor Catur Sugiyanto (Universitas Gadjah Mada); Dr Lucentezza Napitupulu (World Resources Institute Indonesia)


ANU Indonesia Project

10am – 12 pm WIB

ANU Indonesia Project together with Universitas Gadjah Mada will host our annual Mubyarto Public Policy Forum with three speakers.

COVID-19 and Jobs: Implications for Indonesia’s On-going Rural Transformation (Associate Professor Emeritus Christopher Manning, The Australian National University)

The late Professor Mubyarto was a renowned advocate for agricultural and rural development, as well as poverty alleviation in Indonesia. The coronavirus has meant a lot more agricultural and rural employment. Many jobs haven taken up by people displaced from work in the cities, much like during the Asian Financial Crisis (AFC) more than two decades earlier. Given the right incentives, there is the potential for this rural revival to be more permanent than after the AFC. Given technological and socio-economic developments, more jobs could become rural – contributing to less congestion and less pollution, and also improved productivity. This would contrast with the experience of jobless growth after the AFC. New opportunities can also contribute to growth in agriculture and farmer incomes, a development that would surely have met with Pak Muby’s approval.

Urban farming during the pandemic (Professor Catur Sugiyanto, Universitas Gadjah Mada)

The late Prof Mubyarto was our guru in Agricultural Economics, particularly related to the common people economics (Ekonomi Kerakyatan or Ekonomi Wong Cilik). One typical subject he discussed was the issue of small holder farmers, both in rural and urban area. With the current pandemic, there has been a significant disruption in fresh food supply chains from rural to urban areas, causing significant increases in fresh food prices in urban areas. These increasing prices of fresh food products particularly affect the urban poor who then must search for alternative fresh food supply or resort to often lower quality packaged foods. In the current situation, urban farming which has been practiced in many cities including the city of Yogyakarta has been seen as the alternative supply of fresh food products. With some better farming environment, urban farming activities could serve as a cushion to the growers and their neighbours, both as a source for food and potentially as a source of income during the pandemic. This presentation reviews and discusses the growing urban farming in Yogyakarta: what and who they are as well as how can their activities support the urban poor.

Reinforcing cooperative norms in rural development during the pandemic and beyond (Dr Lucentezza Napitupulu, World Resources Institute Indonesia)

Professor Mubyarto early on saw the interlink between Indonesia’s economic system and its social and cultural system that is rooted to its land and environment - a biosocial perspective of Indonesia’s economic system.  Among others, the societies in Indonesia are known for their strong traditional cooperative norms originating from their agricultural practices. Meanwhile, empirical rural studies show that participation in national development programs impact traditional norms of community cooperation. The interactions between existing cooperative norms and government development policies in some cases are reinforcing and in other case opposing.  Traditional norms that regulate cooperative behaviour might not always translate well to cooperation in government-led programs. The presentation will reflect on considerations for which cooperation do occur, as COVID-19 has sharpened the need to capitalize on existing cooperative behaviour to stimulate community collective action in overcoming the impact of the pandemic and toward transformation of rural development.

Updated:  15 April 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Services Team