Rossana Dewi

Gita Pertiwi Foundation | Sustainable Agriculture

Through her Non-Governmental Organization named Gita Pertiwi, Rossana Dewi helps the farmers, especially women farmers, to increase valuable skills that enable them to become researchers and teachers capable of finding solutions to serious agricultural problems through action-oriented research. The activities focus on community development and environmental sustainability, aiming to increase farmers’ sovereignty and improve agricultural production using natural technique.


Her movements were triggered by the need to add ever-increasing amounts of chemical input to maintain agricultural production which caused soil degradation and water pollution. The developments in agriculture began in Indonesia in the 1960s, with the motive of fulfilling the food needs of the country. One solution offered by developed nations was "super seeds" that produced crops in a shorter period of time; the consequence was an increased need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.


Ibu Dewi sees that the success of sustainable agriculture depends largely on the development and training of local people. Further, she sees that women can play important leadership roles in agricultural development and production. Through a curriculum offered through a network of field learning centers, Ibu Dewi is helping rural women see opportunities and learn the skills they need to pursue them. By mastering practices in sustainable agriculture, the women also rise to a new role in their families and communities.


The impact is substantial:

  • Women make more money by increasing crop yields through planning and better techniques

  • They reduce operating expenses by producing their own seeds

  • They use fewer pesticides through liven up the natural predator of the pests

  • They use fewer chemical fertilizers.

In addition, the women gain the self-confidence that allows them to assert themselves in other spheres of life.


Since 1991, Ibu Dewi has developed a farming (field) school and laboratory, educating the farmers on how to farm in an environmentally friendly way, how to produce their own seeds and fertilizers, etc. From Gita Pertiwi’s learning centers, farmers move on to form groups and organizations that devise and lobby for government policies that offer greater opportunities to small-scale farmers.

Solo, Central Java, Indonesia

What can we learn:

  • Sustainable agriculture

  • Consistency

  • Fund raising

  • Willingness to help

  • Community development

Learn to Travel:

  • Read an overview of Rossana Dewi

  • Make a list of questions

  • In Indonesia, we add "Ibu" in front of her nickname (Dewi) to politely call a woman who is older than us.

Gita Pertiwi Activities:
Farming School
Farming School
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Owl House Installation
Owl House Installation
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Organic Pesticide Development
Organic Pesticide Development
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Photos: Gita Pertiwi