Science field shops may precede climate field schools but simple adaptation to climate should be validated as part of both

C.J. Stigter, Y.T. Winarto

Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/siteProfessional


We introduce our programme of rainfall measurements and field observations by Indonesian farmers in their plots and explain the rationale and background of this approach. We then discuss the climate situation and some examples of climate adaptation in respectively Wareng/Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta, Central Java, for the La-Nina rainy season of 2008/2009 and in coastal Indramayu, west Java, for the El-Nino rainy season followed by a rather sudden La-Nina situation of 2009/2010. In the latter case we also tell about the reorganization that was necessary. It is our experience over the past few years that the most useful and convincing preparedness sessions between farmers and scholars are those in which we are not only talking about rainfall measurements results and the related observations of crops and soil. We are also taking ample time to explain the background of climate change and its consequences in terms that lay-people can understand and to answer their questions on these and other issues of their agricultural environment. We do this at what we call “Science Field Shops”, field meetings in which scholars answer questions on vulnerabilities expressed by farmers, and follow this up at their institutes. We consider this an effective way to connect scientists and students with actual problem solving in rural areas and to prepare future Climate/Farmer Field Schools on these vulnerabilities. Then we come back to the climate situations and adaptations but now in the context of some problems we had with issued climate forecasts in 2010. The most important issue appears to be that we investigate how farmers use any of the climate adaptation information provided and how they assess the value of that information, given the decisions they took and the (yield) results they got, using or ignoring such information. Because of rather negative experiences and often little trust in such forecasting, these validations must always be part and parcel of any suggested attempts of adaptation to climate. Measuring rainfall on-farm and observing and discussing its consequences is a good start to get farmers involved in the dialogues.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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