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Contribution to Collected Edition

Farmers as Researchers: Government Regulation of Farmers' Local Knowledge in Indonesia


Antons,  Christoph
MPI for Innovation and Competition, Max Planck Society;

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Antons, C., Winarto, Y. T., Prihandiani, A. F., & Uli, S. (2020). Farmers as Researchers: Government Regulation of Farmers' Local Knowledge in Indonesia. In M. Blakeney, & K. H. M. Siddique (Eds.), Local Knowledge, Intellectual Property and Agricultural Innovation (pp. 117-151). Singapore: Springer.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-B96C-0
This chapter examines the international and national legal frameworks that have fostered the current situation with regards to seeds and local agricultural knowledge in Indonesia. Case studies show how such frameworks are impacting on the practices of farmers and how farmers are dealing with this impact and are developing self-help-mechanisms. It will be argued that standardised regulatory approaches ignore the considerable contribution and innovative nature of local farming practices, which still contribute about 70% of the food produced in the world. The penultimate section of the chapter discusses the changes that can be expected from the new Draft Law on the Sustainable Agricultural Cultivation System. The chapter concludes by pointing to the important influence of two key aspects of the political reformation process in Indonesian society after the end of the military backed Suharto government: decentralization policies which have been beneficial for local councils and NGOs working on rural issues and the creation of a Constitutional Court, which has issued progressive decisions in cases concerning indigenous peoples and farmers. However, while proposed law reform follows the lead of the judiciary, it also reclaims some of the discretionary powers for the bureaucracy and creates new burdens for farmers.