Some Essential Problematiques of Rural Areas in Indonesia

Mr. Suwarto Adi, Board Member of Bina Desa during activity, ASEAN Community Forum In Singapore (Foto by: ASEAN Foundation)

Article entitled, “Some Essensial Problematique of Rural Areas in Indonesia (An Initiatory Assessment), presented by Mr. Suwarto Adi, Representative of Yayasan Bina Desa (Board Member) , Jakarta, Indonesia at the SRE-Asian CSO Forum, March 2017, Singapore.


“The implementation of the Indonesian Government’s second Five Year Development plan (Pembangunan Lima Tahun, or Pelita), which took place 1974-1979; rural areas in Java underwent striking changes. By the end of 1980s villages were on transition time from traditional to modern. At that time new leaders were appointed by the Government to work as “cultural interpreters” in order to help usher in the modernization of the villages. They were to help village communities to identify the basic problems facing communities and to introduce the concept of modernization development. In so doing, they would help interpret the goals and purpose of development for local communities and assist practically in introducing new agricultural and family planning programmes (1). Among those appointed to the role of cultural interpreters were religious leaders and administration village heads (2).  The tasks assigned to these roles eventually came to include addressing the causes of decreasing land ownership (3). Singarimbun reported that percentages of landless rural households were increasing 11%: from 37% (1969) to 48% (1989) in 20 years” (Singarimbun 1996: 169)  Read more…




(1) Masri Singarimbun, Penduduk dan Perubahan (Yogyakarta, Pustaka Pelajar, 1996).

(2) Selo Soemardjan and Kennon Breazeale, Cultural Change in Rural Indonesia, Impact of Village Development (Surakarta, Sebelas Maret University Press, 1993), p. 198 ff.

(3) Mubyarto, “Masalah Ekonomi dan Kemiskinan di Comal” in Frans Husken dan Hiroyosi Kano, Di Bawah Asap Pabrik Gula: Masyarakat di Pesisir Jawa Sepanjang Abad ke-20 (Yogyakarta dan Bandung: Gajah Mada University Press dan Akatiga), pp. 219-230.


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