Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Indonesia's farming body has called on the government to help small-scale and family-run farms implement sustainable and organic farming to help combat climate change.
The Federation of Indonesian Farmers Association (FSPI) said December's climate change conference in Bali would be the most opportune time for the government to introduce a program targeted at small and family-run farms.
FSPI executive Tejo Pramono told a media conference Tuesday family farmers should focus on organic farming methods to help reduce the use of fertilizers and fossil fuels.
"By changing the farming system, small-scale farmers can significantly cool down the earth and reduce greenhouse gas emission," Tejo said.
Indonesian farmers were currently facing problems of limited land allocations for farming, he said.
"Most farmers have less than one hectare of land, (which sees) the country rely on imported foods including rice," Tejo said.
"We'll ask the government to provide at least four hectares of land for a family farmer."
FSPI is a member of La Via Campesina -- an organization that says it brings together millions of small farmers and producers worldwide.
FSPI's executive Tejo is a member of La Via Campesina and said both FSPI and Campesina were critical of current world-wide food trade practices.
"The farming policies from the World Trade Organization (WTO), the regional or bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) must be ended," Tejo said.
"They promote transporting food around the world," he said.
La Via Campesina's main office is in Jakarta.
Tejo said the WTO and FTAs put priorities on food produced with fossil-based pesticides and fertilizers and transported them all around the world.
"The globalized farming and food productions will further worsen global warming," Tejo said.
Indonesia has long been a food importer, including unhusked rice, fruits and vegetables.
"All imported food products consume huge fossil fuel during their transportation to Indonesia," Tejo said.
He said if organic practices were adopted and Indonesia could become self sufficient, the republic would no longer need to transport food from other countries.
Experts said changing weather patterns due to the climate change "would cause unpredictable drought and floods that lead to harvest failures".
The government said it would negotiate emission reductions from the forestry sector to tap financial incentives to benefit the people in the area.
"We will provide 70 percent of carbon sales from the REDD mechanism to local people living near the forest," a forestry ministry spokesman said.
Wahjudi Wardojo, head of the forestry research and development agency at the forestry ministry, was speaking at a discussion on climate change organized by WWF Indonesia and the Society of Indonesian Environmental Journalists (SIEJ).
Reduction Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Country (REDD) is Indonesia's new climate change mechanism to be introduced in December.
Wahjudi said Indonesia, which has the third largest forests in the world, could gain US$2 billion per year from the REDD project.