The consequences of the ‘Green Revolution’ persist in Indonesia and are most evident in the continuing high use of pesticides. After 1986, Indonesia made dramatic reductions in its use of pesticides for rice by adopting methods of integrated pest management, but these reductions were significantly reversed after 2002, producing a ‘tsunami’ in a costly and deleterious promotion of a wide range of pesticides. By destroying natural predators, this deleterious increase enabled the brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens Stal.), a major pest on rice, to become endemic, causing substantial crop losses. This paper provides an ethnographic examination of this excessive pesticide use focusing on usage in two villages in major rice producing areas, one in West Java and the other in Central Java. Faced with uncertainty and the risk of crop loss, farmers are prompted to ever greater spraying and even resort to ‘cocktails’ of multiple pesticides. Yet both villages have suffered brown planthopper infestation and the viruses associated with infestation. The consequences of this pesticide tsunami are considered at both local and national levels.
- Brown Planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens Stal.)
- Green Revolution