IRGSC statistical analysis on NTT
001/2014 - for contribution to
Brief Overview of Maize development in East Nusa Tenggara Timur 1970-2012 [with a case Study on TTS
District [A long term analysis of food security in NTT]

Jonatan A. Lassa and Dominggus Elcid Li

Empirical data suggests that the gap of maize yield (production rate measured in mt/ha) between national
and local has been widening. Data also suggests that TTS is left behind NTT in general and it has been far behind
achievement from the national level. Both national and local maize yield started from relatively the same level in 1970.
However, Figure 1 suggests that national maize yield has been reaching above 4.9 mt/ha in 2012. While NTT and TTS
maize yield has been left at subsequently  2.71 and 2.57 mt/ha within the same year. This means that NTT and in
particular key maize production areas such as TTS district can not make use of existing maize production technology
being adopted by most of the region especially Java island and South Sulawesi.

The spectre of 'agricultural involution' is experienced by TTS district. As the district (as well as the province as a whole)
tries to increase its production through the means of opening up more agricultural land (Figure 2 and 3), it however
experience highly volatile productivity. Conventional explanation has been focused too much on the natural climate (e.g.
the proneness to drought), the lack of technology and (incentives to market access). While we believe that these
variable are still relevant in explaining the problem of maize development NTT/TTS, we also found that much of the
problem has been associated with poor bureaucracy in the sector of agriculture as well as political economy issues
underlying the lagging behind of the region. In addition, lack of technological, social and political economy adaptation to
climate change may contribute to the very low development of maize development in the region.

For future research, we also argue that volatility can be used as a variable to maize vulnerability climate change. In this
Brief, TTS experiences higher volatility (indicated by standard deviation - 0.63 (min yield 0.57 mt/ha; max yield 2.8
mt/ha) than the average yield of NTT (Std. Dev. 0.57; min yield 0.77, max yield 2.67). Regions with higher volatility of
food production is hypothetically more vulnerable and are likely to experience higher level of poverty.
Source: IRGSC, data harvested from MoA - Agricultural Statistic 2005, BPS 2013, TTS in
Figure 1976-2013, NTT in Figure 1987-2013, etc)
Figure 3. Scater-plot of NTT maize
production and area development
IRGSC Indonesia Policy Brief 010
IRGSC Indonesia Policy Brief 010 [Jan 2014]
Remarks. This research is an independent study from the authors. This is part of
our understanding of the political economy of maize development in Eastern
Figure 1
Figure 2. Scater-plot of TTS maize
production and area development