Female Farmer, Pillar of Sukoharjo’s Agriculture
Rabu 5 Desember 2018

First published: 8 December 2016


More than half of the labor force in agriculture sector in Central Java is women. In Java, men are the ones with the duty of providing livelihood for the whole family, while women are left with domestic tasks such as taking care of household affairs and raising children. In line with the increasing economic pressure, men initially working full-time processing land now start to seek side jobs, such as by working as drivers and construction labors, to improve their earnings. Such side jobs do cut off the time they previously dedicated for working in farm, causing them to transfer most of the works in the farm to their wives.

Mrs. Tumi, one of the farmer women in Weru, said that she took care of all plants being cultivated, including paddy, corn, and soybean. She usually spends about 2 weeks a month to attend to the plants in the farm. The activities involved include planting, weeding, and harvesting. As member of farmer women association, she was also empowered by the government to cultivate vegetables in her yard. Aside from that, like other farmer women, she also participated in manure processing at one of the farmer associations in Karanganyar Village, Weru Subdistrict.

When interviewed, she had just finished participating in Soybean Cultivation Movement (Gerakan Tanam Kedelai) along with the Indonesian Army of the National Armed Forces (TNI-AD). During the event, farmer women were assigned into planting groups along with the men. Conducted as the last planting session to conclude the third planting season, the event aims at encouraging Sukoharjo farmers to continue cultivating soybean.

Held on 22 July 2016, the event was attended by the Directorate General for Food Plant of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Central Java Office of Agriculture for Food Plants and Horticulture, the Sukoharjo District Office of Agriculture, and farmers from three soybean center subdistricts in Sukoharjo. It was officially opened by forewords from the Regent of Sukoharjo, which was delivered by Assistant III of Sukoharjo Regional Secretariat.

The Regent of Sukoharjo mentioned that Sukoharjo is optimistic that it can achieve the 2016 soybean production target as much as 3,75o tons. The optimism was mainly because Sukoharjo has a considerably high rate of soybean production, amounting to 2.2 tons per hectare. In Sukoharjo alone, there are three subdistricts with high potential of producing soybean, namely Weru, Tawangsari, and Nguter. The Regent also requested the government, academicians, researchers, and relevant stakeholders to work hand in hand to support soybean production, without neglecting environment preservation, to achieve sustainable agriculture.

The government alone has implemented SLPTT and GPPTT programs to improve the production of three primary commodities that are currently under focus, i.e. paddy, corn, and soybean. However, the Director of Nuts and Tubers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ir. Maman Suherman, encouraged farmers to be more proactive, e.g. by making use of empty land spaces to cultivate food plants and submitting a proposal requesting aids/supports from related institutions for agricultural development.