Main Article Content
Focus group discussions were carried out with rainfed rice farmers in Central Java, Indonesia to understand their rice production system and assess their adaptability to current and future climate change. Results show that the farmers dealt with various stresses such as water shortage, weeds, insects, and pathogens and they spent a significant amount of money for the prevention or reduction of yield loss due to these stresses. As a result, their production cost ranged from 33% to 40% of revenue in the first season and hovered around 30% in the second season. The majority of funds used to prevent or mitigate crop losses from stresses was sourced from debts borrowed from commercial and non-commercial sources. The farmers were therefore vulnerable to any additional damage caused by stresses. Drought is one of the most damaging abiotic stresses but farmers do not have any effective countermeasures to mitigate its effects. This situation results mainly from their inability to access accurate and timely information on the type and start/end of the rainy season. This lack of information prevents them from selecting and planting the correct varieties and adopting the appropriate cultural management practices. Research needs to focus on this particular constraint to help rainfed farmers reduce crop losses from stresses, drought in particular, and to substantially move forward the process of designing more responsive and sustainable rice production models for Central Java and other similarly-situated drought-prone areas.