31 August 2013

Hans Westenberg

Gambaran Ringkas tentang keluarga Westenberg

Ditulis oleh Juara R. Ginting 

Pada tahun 1904, Belanda mencaplok 'Simalungun en Karolanden' sebagai bagian 'De Resident van Ooskust van Sumatra' (Provinsi Pantai Timur Sumatra) yang beribukota di Medan. 'Simalungun en Karolanden' dipimpin oleh seorang controleur dengan ibu kota Seribu Dolok. Sebelumnya, daerah Simalungun dan Karo ini disebut dalam laporan-laporan Belanda dengan istilah Zelfstandige Bataklanden (Batak Berdiri Sendiri/Batak Merdeka) karena dianggap bagian wilayah Bataklanden tapi tidak termasuk 'De Resident van Bataklanden' atau nanti bernama De Resident van Tapanoeli.

Yang dikatakan 'Simalungun en Karolanden' sebenarnya terbatas pada Simalungun Atas dan Karo Gugung. Simalungun Bawah dan Karo Jahe telah duluan menjadi bagian 'De Resident van Ooskust van Sumatra'. Sebagian Simalungun Bawah dianggap bagian dari Sultan Asahan dan sebagian lainnya bagian Sultan Serdang. Sebagian Karo Jahe dianggap bagian Sultan Langkat dan sebagian lainnya bagian Sultan Deli dan Sultan Serdang.

Pencaplokan Simalungun Atas dan Karo Gugung berkaitan erat dengan perlawanan Datuk Sunggal terhadap perusahaan perkebunan asing di daerah Karo Jahe yang mendapat dukungan dari pemuda-pemuda Karo Gugung. Pada tahun 1902, Datuk Sunggal tertangkap di hutan Nang Belawan (tetangga kampung Lingga). Lingga pecah dua. Satu memihak Belanda dan menunjukan kepada Belanda tempat persembunyian Datuk Sunggal. Satu lainnya marah. Mereka membakar rumah-rumah mereka (rumah adat) dan mengungsi meninggalkan Lingga.

Sebelum pencaplokan Simalungun en Karolanden, ada lembaga yang disebut Urusan Batak Merdeka yang dipimpim oleh C.J. Westenberg. Ketika Simalungun en Karolanden dicaplok, Westenberg ini diangkat menjadi controleur Simalungun en Karolanden. Dia beristerikan Si Negel br Sinulingga, putri dari Sibayak Gunung Merlawan (Urung Serbanaman Sunggal).

Nantinya, Simalungunlanden dan Karolanden dijadikan di bawah pemerintahan 2 controleur. Controleur van Simalungunlanden berkedudukan di Seribu Dolok, dan controlur van Karolanden di Kaban Jahe. C.J. Westenberg menentang pemekaran ini karena, menurutnya, Karo dan Simalungun secara tradisional tak mungkin dipisahkan. Menarik juga argumennya dan sangat antropologis. Bila Simalungun dipisah dari Karo, di mana lagi taneh kalak Tarigan (?), katanya. Juhar? Itu memang kerajaan Tarigan (Sibero), tapi Taneh Juhar adalah Taneh Kalak Ginting Munte, katanya. Kalo tak punya taneh panteken, tak sah menjadi bagian society (Karo). Memisahkan tanah dari kedua suku ini berarti menghancurkan society mereka (society harap dibaca bukan kumpulan manusia tapi sebuah sistim yang mengatur hubungan antara manusia). Ambtenaar yang sangat antropologis, begitulah kesan-kesanku ketika minggu lalu membaca surat-surat pribadinya di rumah cucunya di Den Haag.

Westenberg tak terbentuk. Dia terus mengkritik pemerintahnya. Akhirnya, dia dipromosikan menjadi resident (baca: gubernur) Tapanuli. Selama jadi gubernur dia sering berkunjung bersama istri dan anak-anaknya ke Tongging (dia bermerga Ginting Munte Tengging), Dokan (panteken Ginting Munte Ajinembah) dan Kabanjahe. Karena itu, orang-orang Karo menyebutnya Tuan Siboga. Belum setahun dia menjadi gubernur, seperti Multatuli yang juga tak tahan atas perlakuan pemerintahnya, Westenberg mengundurkan diri dan kembali ke Den Haag membawa anak-anak dan istrinya si Negel.

Tak sampai 20 tahun kemudian, dia meninggal dunia dalam usia sekitar 50 tahun. Si Negel pulang ke Kabanjahe bersama seorag putranya Hans Westenberg yang nanti mendapatkan penghargaan Magsasay (hadiah nobel tingkat Asia) atas jasa-jasanya di bidang pertanian/ pengadaan pangan.

(Honoring greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in Asia)

Westenberg, Hans | BIOGRAPHY

HANS WESTENBERG was born on October 27, 1898 in the village of Bangoen Poerba, about 30 kilometers from Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, which was then known as the Netherlands East Indies. His father Carel Johan Westenberg, was a Controller in the Netherlands civil service who had been posted to Sumatra in 1892 to bring the Batak tribes under Dutch administration. His mother, Negel Sinulingga, was the daughter of the Sibayak of Lingga, the primary rajah of the Karo Bataks of the high lands. She contributed to her husband's career by helping persuade the Batak hereditary chiefs to accept Dutch rule. When her husband was decorated by the Netherlands government for this work, she was presented to Queen Wilhelmina, the first Indonesian lady so honored.

HANS was the youngest of four, two boys and two girls. When he was five his father was promoted to Assistant Resident at Seribou Dolok near Lake Toba in the North Sumatra Karo Highlands. Here HANS had a Dutch tutor who also taught his mother in the Dutch language Two years later, at age seven, he was sent to Holland to live with relatives of his father and attend the Deventer primary school.

His father rose to the rank of Resident with his appointment as Head (Governor) of the Bataklanden in Sibolga, Sumatra but, not agreeing with the Dutch administration, was pensioned early and returned to Holland. He established his family at The Hague where HANS joined them to attend secondary school. After graduation he entered the University of Leyden where for two years he studied for the civil service taking courses in agricultural economics, community development, health, the Indonesian language, and law. His father died while he was at the university and HANS decided to forego further studies and return to Indonesia. He celebrated his 21st birthday aboard ship.

His father's brother, who was general manager of the two largest Dutch rubber and coffee companies, arranged a job for him on his arrival. Because his brother was already with Rubber Cultuur Maatschappy Amsterdam, HANS asked for another company and was assigned to Rubber Cultuur Maatschappy Serbadjadi. In November 1919, as an assistant manager at this company's estate Serbadjadi, some 50 kilometers from Medan, HANS WESTENBERG started his agricultural career.

After one year he was moved to a new estate, Sungei Kopas, which was being opened by his company in a more remote area 180 kilometers from Medan. Here he was confronted with 1,000 hectares of jungle to be converted into a rubber plantation. WESTENBERG became manager of this estate in his sixth year with the company?a record, for at that time 10 to 20 years of experience were usually required for the senior position. WESTENBERG credits his quick promotion to lessons taught him in his youth: "don't strive for money; do your job well and you will always have the money you need," and "be honest." Being honest he admitted that he had inherited "quite a lot of money" from his father and corrected mistakes he made through inexperience by paying for them "secretly" out of his own pocket.

During his 13 years at Sungei Kopas he was given six months home leave every five or six years. In 1928, on his second leave, he met and married Johanna Westhoff, whose father was a Dutch army colonel and a friend of his uncle. The following year a son, Johan, was born to the couple at Sungei Kopas.

WESTENBERG was next transferred to manage two estates?Hanna, 220 kilometers from Medan, and Milano, 70 kilometers from Hanna. His marriage was dissolved in 1941, just before the Japanese occupation of Indonesia, and his wife and son, then 12 years old, were interned as Dutch citizens. He himself was interned only in the last five months of the war because the Japanese chose to regard him as an Indonesian?and they needed experienced plantation managers.

Since the Japanese had little use for the large stocks of rubber on the estates, they instructed managers to stop tapping for rubber and plant food crops instead. As a result, during his three years under the Japanese, WESTENBERG reamed to become a food crop farmer and succeeded so well that this was to be a major interest from then on.

With 800 hectares of land?obtained by felling old rubber trees and clearing new WESTENBERG raised more than enough food for 3,500 persons. Besides feeding his own laborers and their families, he sent food to estates unable to feed their labor forces and contributed 50 kilos of vegetables daily to the estates' hospital.

During the years of occupation he also learned to be very resourceful. Without fertilizers and chemicals for plant protection one of his severest problems was how to exterminate rats. He found a solution after noting that his boxer had mated with a stray bitch that fed herself and her litter by catching rodents. He eventually rounded up 14 of these mongrels which were taken to the rice fields each morning; in about three hours they completed their daily task of killing 500 rats.

To provide meat and fish on Hanna was easy according to WESTENBERG. He hunted wild pigs with dogs and spear, and did this alone: "although not dangerous at all, no one wished to accompany me," he has written. However fishing in the ditches and marshes, where big snakefish were plentiful, was dangerous because of the possibility of contracting black water fever, which WESTENBERG did. Without doctor or medicine he became so weak and paralyzed that he could not lift his hand; sipping milk through a rice straw saved him and after one month the fever subsided.

There were other wartime hazards. On one occasion WESTENBERG was imprisoned with 1,000 other men on the suspicion of taking part in subversive actions. His group of 60 prisoners was crowded into a cell built for 10. Many prisoners died and he lost 14 kilograms in weight in the 35 days before the Japanese estates staff intervened and secured his release.

Illness and incarceration notwithstanding, he remembers those three years as the happiest of his life: "I could enjoy my hobby of growing successfully all kinds of crops and be able to feed thousands of people," he says.

WESTENBERG was interned April through August 1945 and released with other internees when the Japanese forces surrendered. He stayed in Medan until the end of 1945 because of the Indonesian rebellion against the return of Dutch rule. While there he met and married Phie Gweh Eng?daughter of a Chinese contractor and his Javanese wife?by whom he had a second son, Vincent, in 1946.

In the early aftermath of war WESTENBERG was asked by Rubber Cultuur Maatschappy Amsterdam to help them get their rubber estates near Medan back into production. He talked to the laborers who had refused to work now that the Dutch government was again in power, identified and detained those fomenting the strike, and in three days persuaded the entire work force to report for duty.

Given the task of getting the estates of his own company into production WESTENBERG began with Serbadjadi, the estate nearest Medan where he had begun as assistant manager. After an army detail used weapons carriers to pull felled rubber trees aside and clear the road, he had the burned-out manager's house and factory repaired and a new smokehouse built. Production could be started after one month although the bridge giving access to the estate was often burned at night by Indonesian revolutionaries.

WESTENBERG proceeded next to the Silau Dunia estate where only an empty cattle barn with two small rooms was intact. Living there with armed civilian estate guards, drivers and other personnel, he quickly built a sawmill and started constructing new houses. The rubber trees were in good condition and he began tapping immediately, processing the latex on a neighboring estate until the factory and smokehouse were rebuilt.

Facing the problem of reaching estates 200 kilometers to the south?a region still controlled by revolutionaries offered to guide a Dutch army troop making a surprise sortie to the area. Without asking permission he had his armed civil estate guards follow the convoy. Sitting on the outside of the lead tank he guided the military vehicles to their destination without incident and was able to borrow an army truck to move his guards to Ambalutu and Sungei Kopas estates. On a second such trip his plan failed; the officer in charge refused him transport and disarmed his guards. As a result, when he finally got to Hanna with other armed guards a month later, he found his house burned to the ground and all his possessions gone.

After completing his job as liberator and troubleshooter for his company's estates, WESTENBERG settled down as manager of Silau Dunia, their largest and most severely damaged plantation..

In 1949 the Dutch government was forced by events to withdraw from Indonesia and in 1950 WESTENBERG took Indonesian citizenship and bought Kebun Djeruk (Orange Plantation), a neglected fruit farm located 92 kilometers southeast of Medan near Tebing Tinggi (Deli). He intended to "retire" there the following year to work out a scheme that had been germinating in his mind as he observed the economically depressing effect on small farmers of their poor farming methods and their inferior planting material. As he later wrote, "Indonesia is an agrarian country, with the vase majority of the people employed in peasant farming on plots of 0.5 to 2 hectares. Although these tiny farms produce 95 percent of all agricultural output most research work, credit facilities and other agricultural inputs have been directed to the large modern estates, which account for a mere 5 percent." Where government assistance was available to small farmers it was concentrated in the irrigated rice-production areas. WESTENBERG concern was for the farmer on non-irrigated (rain-fed) land whose position was desperate.

WESTENBERG had already moved his family to Kebun Djeruk in 1951 when his company asked him to defer retirement in order to save again as a troubleshooter in labor negotiations and as a contact representative with the Indonesian government. The company general manager in Medan gave him "full power to make decisions."

By working with labor leaders, some of whom he knew personally and by giving the workers short-term profits for long-term contracts and small gifts for weddings, funerals, births and other important family occasions, he soon settled the major labor problems. After a year of this work, and with no possibility of succeeding as general manager because the Dutch company did not want an Indonesian in control, WESTENBERG retired from Rubber Cultuur Maatschappy Sabadjadi with a pension of 400 guilders (US$105) per month, a jeep and other equipment for his new venture.

However his plans to develop Kebun Djeruk were soon curtailed. In 1953 he was asked by his former company to come back to resolve serious problems that had arisen at their Simpang Kanan estate in Atche By dealing evenhandedly with those workers who were stealing half the rubber, the insurgents who claimed to be the legal authority and demanded taxes and the Indonesian government officials he had the estate profitable again in six months. Instead of returning to Kebun Djeruk he accepted, in 1954 the position of general manager of Rubber Cultuur Maatschappy Kwaloe?a Dutch company owned privately by the directors of Rubber Cultuur Maatschappy Amsterdam who wanted an Indonesian to run their one large estate, Labuhan Hadji He was the third general manager of this company, succeeding his uncle and his brother. His condition in accepting the position was that he would be allowed to experiment with intercropping, i.e. planting food crops between the young rubber trees during the first three years before they cast too much shade. His experiment was to have widely beneficial results.

"The system used at Labuhan Hadji of intercropping annual crops between perennial crops during the two to three years before shading prevents intercropping," WESTENBERG wrote, "is expected to be able to pay for a part or the whole of the costs of establishing perennial crops on an estate. It may revolutionize estate agriculture in the future. For small dry land farmers whose yield per hectare on perennial crops is often only one-tenth of the yield obtained on estates, the system holds the solution for increasing their income by becoming smallholders of high yielding perennial crops."

Besides successfully introducing the concept of intercropping, WESTENBERG believes one of the most important things he did while at Labuhan Hadji was to bring owners of idle land and landless people together in a productive enterprise which was later organized into a company with limited liability called Perusahaan Tani Labuhan Hadji. He persuaded the owners of idle land to exchange it for shares in the company; the landless paid for shares in cash. The venture started by developing nurseries for rubber trees which were to be budded and sold and intercropping the nurseries. Most of the expenses of the project were paid for by the sale of trees alone. By 1972, on the 35 hectares then in production, the company was making an annual gross profit from sales of trees and intercrops of five million rupiahs (US$11,700) and paying Rp.1.5 million in taxes. Shares that originally cost Rp.1 were selling for Rp.500. Many individual farmers are today following the example of the company, and some 1,000 hectares in the region of Labuhan Hadji are planted with high yielding budded rubber trees, intercropped with food crops.

WESTENBERG stayed at Labuhan Hadji until 1958 when the company was taken over by the Indonesian government. He refused the position commensurate to his rank offered to him in Medan with the new Indonesian company for he was eager to pursue his agricultural experiments at Kebun Djeruk.

WESTENBERG had been the sole purchaser in 1950 of the 30 hectares? later expanded to 50?that made up Kebun Djeruk, and had made his wife his first partner by putting some shares in her name. In 1951 his brother bought a one-fifth share which, upon his death in the early 1960s, was taken over by WESTENBERG?s best friend, Professor Ir. (Insenjur meaning engineer) Tan Hong Tong, an Indonesian of Chinese ancestry. Tan, who was Director of the Research Institute of the Planters Association in Medan?the largest research institute in Sumatra also Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture of North Sumatra University, had close associations with national and international research efforts and with the government extension service. He brought another dimension to Kebun Djerok.

On the farm was a collection of good and inferior budded orange and rambutan trees. To these WESTENBERG added new plantings. The best were then selected, multiplied and sold to farmers. As this work was developing a virus disease infected and killed most orange trees. His rambutans can now be found throughout the region.

WESTENBERG took the orange setback in stride for in 1951 he had announced to friends and to his neighbors that Kebun Djerok was no longer to be only a fruit plantation but was to become a mixed farming demonstration. He had long been convinced that the poverty of small farmers was chiefly due to lack of access to seeds or planting material of high yield potential, to fertilizers, pesticides and other requirements, and to practical information and demonstration of improved systems of cultivation. He planned to meet these needs at Kebun Djeruk, developing it as a private experiment and extension station, and operating it from the beginning on a commercial basis to prove to the small farmer that his methods were profitable.

The farm was registered in 1954 as the N.V. Perusahaan Perkembangan Pertanian (Organization for Farming Development), with WESTENBERG as the managing director and principal shareholder. A resident Indonesian manager was employed from 1951 until 1958 when WESTENBERG "retired" permanently to Kebun Djeruk. During this seven years, excepting the six months in 1953 when he and his family were in Atche, he spent most of his weekends there.

Aside from his initial investment of Rp.55,000, the pay he took twice in lieu of leave while still working with the rubber company, some gifts of equipment and subsidies for specific seed production, all development, experiments and extension have been financed by income generated by the farm. This has come primarily from the sale of produce, planting material, seeds and rubber processed from the farm's own latex into Standard No. 1 smoked sheet. Most profitable has been the production of budded rubber trees, which WESTENBERG developed here as he had while at Labuhan Hadji after studying research results of the Malayan Rubber Research Institute in Kuala Lumpur. The company sells from 100,000 to 200,000 of these trees a year.

WESTENBERG first experiment with food crops at Kebun Djeruk failed. Though he practiced proper land preparation, fertilization and weeding he could not produce a high enough yield with available varieties to meet rising wages and still realize a profit. He had made a profit on intercropping at Labuhan Hadji, he realized, only because monetary devaluation had worked in his favor. He therefore studied foreign agricultural books and journals, and corresponded with seed houses and research departments of governments and universities. Gradually he obtained?mostly from abroad?seeds of good varieties of rice, peanuts, mungo beans, soya beans, sweet corn, field corn and sorghum. He tested these seeds in both dry and rainy seasons?in at least three plantings?to determine their suitability under local soil and climatic conditions. Those suitable were then multiplied and made available to others. Kebun Djeruk was the only farm in Indonesia, private or public, engaged in seed multiplication for extension.

WESTENBERG had decided at the outset not to give free planting materials. First, he knew that people usually value more what they buy. Second, he needed to charge enough to provide a nominal amount for farm development and future trials as well as to cover the costs of production and the costs of the demonstration and the pamphlet that he always gave with planting material purchases. His purpose in accompanying purchases with demonstrations and pamphlets was to help the farmer avoid mistakes which would both adversely affect his crop and undermine the reputation of Kebun Djeruk: he wanted his customers to set examples which others would seek to follow. Third, he wanted to prove that his methods were commercially sound.

To prove the latter, WESTENBERG made a point of showing his neighbors and visitors all activities on the farm, emphasizing that Kebun Djeruk maintained itself from the sale of its own produce as any viable farm must do. When farmers could see the land development, capital improvements and experiments, all of which were being paid for out of farm income, they began asking him for help and advice. He not only gave them sound practical advice, but always offered them the opportunity?on the spot?to buy the improved planting materials and/or seeds and production requisites.

In 1962 WESTENBERG introduced a shrub, nilam patchuli, the leaves of which can be harvested in five to six months and produce an oil to fix scent in perfume. A very simple method for distilling the oil also was introduced. The crop has been highly profitable for Kebun Djeruk. In years when demand was sated and prices dropped, the oil was stocked?which improved its quality?and sold when the market recovered.

In recent years research emphasis at Kebun Djerak has been on: 1) sorghum as a new export crop, 2) vegetable, fish and animal proteins to improve the daily diet of the people, 3) intercropping, 4) dwarf coconuts and 5) improved rice varieties.

WESTENBERG became interested in sorghum as a new cash crop when he learned that its yield potential in tropical countries is higher than that of any other grain, and that the newly developed varieties with high protein quality and content considerably surpass corn as food for animals. Sorghum matures in two and a half to three months?compared with four months for corn?and under tropical conditions can produce two ratoon crops from the stubble of the seeded crop. Also uniquely adaptable, sorghum is one of the world's most drought resistant crops, yet survives under extremely wet, even flood, conditions. Apprised that Japan and Taiwan import about three million tons yearly, and that a ready market also exists in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Europe, he decided to obtain seed of the new varieties to test at Kebun Djeruk.

Among the 500 new sorghum varieties he tested, Purdue 954149, a non-hybrid high yielding variety from Purdue University in the United States proved the most suitable to the soil and climatic conditions of upland North Sumatra, yielding in 75 days, on fertile soil with adequate rainfall, six tons per hectare. Based on this test-plot yield WESTENBERG assumed that in large-scale planting four tons per hectare per crop could be produced and four crops a year harvested, for a total of 12 tons per hectare per year. Another variety?Purdue 954243?that matured in 83 days proved better for the lowlands. Moved from test plots into the multiplication fields, both fulfilled his expectations. Purdue 954243, now named KD-4, has recently been released and an expanding demand has developed.

By testing vegetable seeds of many varieties and from many countries, sent by friends and well-wishers or ordered by him, WESTENBERG has found four high yielding varieties of protein-rich vegetables suitable for North Sumatra: a black soya bean from Queensland, Australia (Avoyelles); a yellow soya bean from the Institute Partanian, Bogor, West Java (Bogor 495); a disease resistant peanut (groundnut) from Taiwan (Tainan 9), and a non-shattering Super Mungo bean from the Philippines that matures in 65 days. These soya beans and peanuts?with a high protein and fat content?and mungo beans?with a high protein and vitamin content?are now being grown widely in the area by small cultivators using seeds purchased from Kebun Djeruk.

In 1969 WESTENBERG began research on production of fish in ponds developed on six hectares of his farm. His reasoning was that fish yield up to five times more meat per hectare than cattle and are rich in proteins. The fastest growing pond fish in his trials have been the three main Chinese carp (Cyprinus carpio) ?the grass, big head and silver?which reach a weight of five to six kilograms in 18 months and have a ready market in Medan restaurants. These Chinese carp do not spawn naturally outside of mainland China but fingerlings have been readily available through Singapore. He has also discovered that the common carp, ikan mas, grows twice as fast when fed with cooked sorghum as under conventional pond culture; he has been testing whether this growth rate can be further increased by using high protein varieties of sorghum. The Community Aid Abroad (CAA) of Australia has followed WESTENBERG?s experiments with keen interest and assisted with the donation of an axial flow irrigation pump for the fishponds and rice fields and a power tiller for preparing land for intercropping and for plowing fishponds after they are drained for accretion of PH which requires liming.

Aware that thousands of hectares of land in mature rubber, oil palm and coconut trees have a ground cover of grasses and legumes of which virtually no use is made, has urged that animals be allowed to graze these vase pastures. He is disappointed that neither large nor small landholders have acted upon his suggestion to avail themselves of this obvious opportunity for raising meat, for which there is a ready market.

WESTENBERG has taken his own advice, however, and at Kebun Djeruk is experimenting with grazing Garut sheep (imported from Bandung in Central Java) under perennial crops. He chose the Garut breed?which frequently bears twins and can attain a weight of 50 kilograms?with the idea of crossing them with local sheep to improve the stock. He chose sheep over other grazers because they are more disease resistant, more prolific, and less likely to damage the perennials than goats and they compact the soil less than the heavier cattle. To find the most suitable pasture he imported seeds for trials with the help of John M. Hayman of the Colombo Plan (New Zealand). Should his sheep raising experiment prove successful, he has in mind developing a profitable home industry from wool. He is also grazing water buffaloes among young budded rubber trees on land covered with a mixture of legumes and grasses.

With grazing and intercropping WESTENBERG feels he has developed a system whereby all plantation costs land clearing to the maturity of the perennial crop be paid for. Annual crops can be planted between the young perennials until the land becomes too shaded-about the third or fourth year; the land can then be converted to grazing and a further income made from the animals. With the new high yield seeds and a variety of combinations, he has proved at Kebun Djerak that it is possible not only to pay costs but also to make a profit with this system. For example, one-month-old budded rubber trees have been intercropped with mungo beans, six-month trees with sorghum, eight-month trees with rubber nursery stock later to be budded and sold, and 18-month trees with field corn. Coconut trees on flee land have been intercropped with sorghum and peanuts and under young dwarf coconuts on sloping land a ground cover of legumes for grazing has been tested.

WESTENBERG sees intercropping as a means by which large areas can be opened for perennial crops (rubber, coconut, fruit) with a limited amount of capital invested in a revolving fund, and the only way for small farmers with no capital but unused land to turn their idle assets into a profitable enterprise. In overpopulated areas intercropping provides more efficient land use and a living for jobless people. WESTENBERG cautions, however, that due to the danger of erosion, sloping land is more suitable for grazing than short-term cash crops and all land muse be grazed in rotation in order not to destroy the pasture cover.

Another export crop receiving attention is the coconut. He seeks to reverse the declining trend of crop yield for copra resulting from increasing home consumption of coconut products by a growing population without compensatory replanting of coconut trees, and displacement of coconuts in many areas by the oil palm. He has concentrated on dwarf coconuts popularly known as Kelapa Nias, which mature earlier than common coconuts (four years instead of seven or eight), have a slightly higher production of nuts and are easier to harvest. They are also self-pollinating, they respond better to fertilizers, and 280 dwarf trees can be planted on one hectare compared to 100 of the common kind.

His work on dwarf coconuts has created an eager market; demand exceeded his production by 60,000 and he had to refuse new customers. He has also introduced a hybrid?based on Ivory Coast research?which is the result of planting selected common coconuts with dwarfs from which the male flowers have been removed so that they cross rather than self pollinate. With proper fertilizer application the hybrid will come into production, like the dwarf, in four years and yield four tons of copra per hectare, compared with the average yield of 600 kilograms from the common tall coconut.

WESTENBERG heard many reports about superior rice varieties being developed at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) at Los Ba?os in the Philippines and was convinced these high yield varieties would solve the looming shortage in Indonesia of this basic food crop. He knew that, given the annual population growth rate of more than 2.5 percent, the extension of rice cultivation to even an additional 200,000 hectares would not cover the projected deficit as long as yield levels remained at two tons per hectare. Doubling or trebling production on the eight million hectares of existing farms with high yielding varieties, however, would mean an abundant supply and would require no additional investment in land and comparatively little investment in seed, fertilizer and pesticide. The latter could quickly be repaid out of increased production and real profits would accrue to the depressed small cultivators.

A friend with whom he had exchanged seeds and ideas managed to gee him 2.5 kilograms of IR-8 and IR-5 seeds (renamed in Indonesia Peta Barn 8 and Peta Barn 5) in February 1967. He immediately planted this precious nucleus stock on one-quarter hectare each to test the varieties for adaptability and yield under local conditions. The military commander of Sumatra visited the farm in May. Impressed with the crop performance and potential, he offered WESTENBERG Rp.1 million (US$5,814 at the 1967 average of Rp.172 to US$1) for a pilot multiplication project.

The next season, using this money given by the army through Kommando Operasi Harapan (KOPAN) the rice seed multiplication area was increased to five hectares, 2.5 hectares for each variety. When the plants matured WESTENBERG invited the senior army of officers from Medan to witness?from a pavilion erected directly in front of the field?the harvesting, threshing and weighing of the rice. Both varieties yielded eight tons of paddy per hectare?four times the yield of local varieties.

Having seen for themselves, the army officials quickly approved WESTENBERG?s proposal for a 500-hectare seed multiplication project in the fields of neighboring farmers which would provide nucleus seed for all rice growers in Sumatra. The cost of Rp.43 million (US$111,399 at the 1968 average of Rp.386 to US$1) was covered by a repayable short-term loan from KOPAN. WESTENBERG and his men canvassed the locality and soon had 500 hectares pledged by some 600 farmers. Agreement to lend fields was readily given because the fields were to be used during the dry season when they were usually left fallow. Fifteen students from the Faculty and the Academy of Agriculture of the University of North Sumatra were enlisted to supervise the project at all stages of plant growth. WESTENBERG gave them an intensive training course and divided the 500 hectares evenly among them. He next called meetings of groups of cooperating farmers and the chiefs of their villages and gave them detailed instructions on the operations to be carried out in the fields from planting through harvesting.

Five newspapers in Medan and two in Jakarta and Radio Republic Indonesia carried regular feature stories and reports on the seed multiplication program. This boosted the morale of those involved and informed people elsewhere of the great experiment with the new seeds.

Planting proceeded according to plan, with all the fertilizer and pesticide inputs required by the high yielding varieties distributed from Kebun Djeruk. The fields of the five percent of tradition-bound farmers who refused to apply fertilizers served as control plots; the owners realized their folly at the time of harvest.

As the panicles emerged WESTENBERG suggested to the army officials that the new technology would spread more quickly if rice farmers and extension and civil service personnel from other regions could see the standing crop and witness the harvest as they had. The army officers agreed, made announcements and arranged free transportation. Harvesting was scheduled over several days to allow as many farmers and authorities as possible from the different regions of North Sumatra to see the operations.

Threshing could be handled by traditional methods in the fields and drying the large production was solved with the help of one of WESTENBERG?s Chinese friends who arranged for use of the drying yards of 10 local rice mills. KOPAN also donated to Kebun Djeruk a 40-horsepower moisture extraction unit with a capacity for drying at low temperature 20 tons of seeds in 24 hours.

The total yield from the 500 hectares was 4,000 tons, of which WESTENBERG bought 800 tons and left the remainder to the respective producers. Of his purchase, 500 tons were sold to the governor of North Sumatra for distribution among farmers in different regions of his province. About 200 tons were sold at a reduced price to the student action organization, Kersatuan Akshi Mahasiswa Indonesia (KAMI). Mounting a program they christened "The Mobile Shop of New Technology," the students took the seeds, fertilizers and pesticides in five trucks made available to them by the army and sold them at cost to small rice farmers in remote villages throughout the island. The remaining 100 tons were sold directly by Kebun Djeruk to rice farmers, who were required to purchase for Rp.30 (seven and a half U.S. cents) the leaflet Pedoman Penanaman Padi PB-5 and PB-8 (Guide to Cultivation of IR-5 and IR-8), which WESTENBERG had produced giving detailed instructions on planting and maintaining the new varieties. Proceeds from these sales enabled WESTENBERG to repay in full the army loan for the seed multiplication project.

A few weeks after this harvest of the first second rice cropping in the region the cooperating farmers arranged a day-long festival to honor presenting him with an ulos (a ceremonial shawl given as a symbol of respect and gratitude).

The more than 400,000 hectares planted with the multiplied seed in the next dry season yielded a crop with an estimated value of US$10 million. With their extra income many farmers bought cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. Others built new houses or purchased motorcycles. Several communities, seeing the benefits to be obtained, built new irrigation schemes. Small village rice hullers sprang up to cope with the increased production.

WESTENBERG continued testing new rice varieties as they were released by IRRI. He was the first to market IR-22. When he found quick maturing IR-24 was the best seed for north Sumatran soil and climate he immediately multiplied it and made it available to local farmers. IR-22 and IR-24 found ready acceptance by farmers who quickly recognized their better properties.

WESTENBERG also rented in Tebing Tinggi (Deli) a rice mill with drying facilities which he has made available to local farmers.

Farmers are not the only ones to have benefited from WESTENBERG research and the ready sharing of his results. He has turned to professors of the Faculty of Agriculture of North Sumatra University for technical information and they have learned from him by observing his experience. Under an agreement with this faculty, agriculture students have been coming since 1967 to live and learn-by-participating at Kebun Djeruk. "These students are my army," says WESTENBERG with enthusiasm.

The service that Kebun Djeruk provides small farmers is indicated by the volume of improved planting materials sold by it and its cooperating farmers from January 1963 through October 1972:

Planting Material
Total Single Plant Units

Rice seeds

Rubber buddings

Rubber seeds (sold by count)

Dwarf coconuts

Patchuli cuttings

Buddings of fruit trees

Clove seedlings

Corn seeds

Pulse seeds

Sorghum seeds

Kebun Djeruk has been, not only a reliable source of seeds and planting materials for crops that are economically feasible for small farmers, but also a model of land use and organization. Its test plots, rubber and coconut plantations, spice groves and fishponds are neatly and efficiently arranged. Staff housing and student dormitory, a repair shop for machinery, and warehouses for drying and storing seeds are laid out on low ground. WESTENBERG?s house is on high ground, providing him a good view of the farm from his bougainvillea-shaded porch; his living and dining rooms double as an office and staff and student library.

For WESTENBERG and his full-time staff of four the day starts before sun up and ends at 8:30 p.m. when the generator is fumed off. About 130 workers arrive at 7 a.m., leaving at 11 a.m. to work their own farms. It is WESTENBERG?s custom to take a hearty breakfast, and after a light lunch, a brief rest, and to spend a portion of every afternoon reading and writing. He views writing as one of the ways he can share his knowledge. Schooled in English, French and German, and fluent from childhood in Dutch and Indonesian, he has improved his mastery of English through self-study and with foreign contacts. His most important writings are in English and Indonesian; the latter includes many booklets and pamphlets written for farmers on the best way to grow the crops he has propagated.

Visitors are also viewed as a way to gain and share knowledge, and no week passes but WESTENBERG has many of them. A frequent visitor and collaborator is Rudy F. Ramp, Deputy Director of the Committee for American Relief Everywhere (CARE) based in Djakarta. Ramp has worked in Southeast Asia for a number of years and is a great promoter of WESTENBERG and Kebun Djeruk for Ramp has become convinced that "any advance in agriculture must come from concerned people in the private sector as governments are too unwieldy." John M. Hayman of the Colombo Plan (New Zealand) agrees. His experiences as an agricultural project consultant have led him to believe that national programs are bound to fail because the organization necessary to run such programs becomes encumbered with bureaucracy and, especially in countries of such diversity as Indonesia, cannot cope with cultural differences. "Only private initiative of WESTENBERG?s type is feasible," he has written.

As observers have noted, WESTENBERG has been "well connected" for the work he has undertaken. Through his father, his Dutch education and his early career, he has had close European associations, early positions of responsibility and leadership, and the opportunity to experiment on the estates he managed. Through his mother he has had an identification with the leaders and the people of Sumatra and shares some of the characteristics of the Bataks who "are commercially minded, they want to learn and will debate." Through his wife and his best friend and partner he has had close contacts with the Indonesian-Chinese intellectual and commercial communities.

By 1970 the work at Kebun Djeruk had grown to such proportions that WESTENBERG, then 72, began to think seriously of how to provide for the continuation of his work. His sons had chosen other careers. Johan, trained in economics, is an efficiency expert with International Business Machines and teaches at the University of Amsterdam; he has been only a visitor at Kebun Djeruk. Vincent is head of the technical division of an estate.

WESTENBERG and his associates and those of the international development community close to him concluded that a foundation could best improve and expand what his inspiration and technical expertise had begun. The foundation they envisaged would work in close cooperation with the government Department of Agriculture, the faculties of agriculture at various universities, the Research Institute of the Sumatra Planters Association, and other Indonesian and international organizations desirous of cooperating in research, experimentation and extension. All work of the foundation would be guided by a technical advisory committee of world-class experts from Indonesia and abroad and the staff would be recruited worldwide.

On August 7, 1972 the Yayasan Pengembangan Usaha Tani Indonesia (Foundation for Indonesian Farming Development) was established under the auspices of five founding members: Lt. Gen. Hadji Dr. Ibnu Sutowo, President-Director of P.M. Pertamina, the government-owned oil company; Maj. Gen. Josef Muskita, Director General of the Ministry of Trade; Brig. Gen. Hadji Hasan Kasim, President-Director of Pupuk Srividjaya, the large urea (fertilizer) factory in Palembang; Ir. Sadikin Sumintawikarta Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and HANS WESTENBERG. Among the seven men named as managers, Dr. Zaimul Jasni, Assistant to the Minister of Trade, serves as Chairman of the Foundation and Ir. Rochim Wirjomidjojo, a Member of Parliament, as Executive Secretary. The six supervisor-advisers include such men as Prof. Dr. Ir. Sayogio, on the staff of the Bogor Institute of Agriculture, and Ir. Dahro, President of the Central Indonesian Research Institute in Medan. WESTENBERG is managing consultant.

The shares of Kebun Djeruk?for which WESTENBERG and his partners were compensated in the amount of Rp.22 million (US$51,402) from funds provided by Dr. Sutowo of Pertamina?were transferred to the Foundation. Sutowo and Muskita, on behalf of the Ministry of Trade, have pledged to finance the production and export of sorghum. The fertilizer company Kasim heads has provided office space and facilities for the Foundation in Djakarta. Kebun Djeruk and the new companies to be established will continue to be run on a commercial basis.

The first of the new companies has been organized to promote the production of sorghum by poor dryland farmers. The company will handle the drying, storing, fumigation and export of sorghum so produced. At WESTENBERG request a New Zealand agricultural expert has been made available by the Australian CAA to assist with the project.

Though required by advancing years to hand over active management of Kebun Djeruk, WESTENBERG has simply reduced the scale of his work. On the nearby two-hectare farm he is buying for himself and his wife he intends to experiment with new techniques of planting and fertilizing crops which will benefit small farmers. He continues, through contracts and correspondence with universities, research stations officials and businessmen, to promote, for the welfare of the whole community better utilization of Sumatra's "exceptionally favorable, almost optimum conditions" of warm climate, fertile soil, adequate rainfall and a location outside the path of cyclones and typhoons His goal remains constant; to release the small farmer from hunger, poverty and ill-health by making him a part of the dynamic process of rural development.

March 1973


Ginting Meneth. Beberapa Aspek Ekonomi Produksi Padi Sawab Di Sumatera Utara (Some Economic Aspects of Rice production in North Sumatra). Published with the cooperation of the Research Bureaus of Faculties of Agriculture and Economics, University of North Sumatra, Medan. 1970.

Kebun Djeruk. N. V. Perusahaan Perkembangan Pertanian (Organization for Farming Development), Tebing Tinggi Deli, North Sumatra. 1971. (Mimeographed with photographs.)

Narayanan, P. K. The Story of Kebun Djeruk. December 1972. 16 p. (Mimeographed.)

Penny, D. H. The Economics of Peasant Agriculture: The Indonesian Case. N.d .24 p. (Typewritten.)

______. Mr. H. Westenberg and Kebun Djeruk. April 20, 1971. 10 p. (Mimeographed.)

Proposals on the Reorganization of the Management and Financial Basis of Kebun Djeruk to Continue, Improve and Expand its Activities in the Future. October 1970. 4 p. (Mimeographed.)

Rangkuti, A. R. "Kebun Djeruk" As a Center of Agriculture Development. N.d. 20 p. (Mimeographed. )

Roeder, O. G. "Stagnant Stability?" Far Eastern Economic Review. Hong Kong. January 30, 1971.

Sajogyo. The Agro-Economic Survey: A Case Study of Applied Research in Indonesian Agricultural Development Efforts. N.d. 31 p. (Mimeographed.)

Westenberg, Hans. Comment on "Research in Development Schemes" by Dr. Ir. R Soebrapradja presented to the Seminar on the Development of North Sumatra. December 28, 1971. (Mimeographed.)

______. An Effective Low Cost System for the Promotion of Agricultural Development. February 25, 1973. 14 p. (Mimeographed.)

______. Finding a Way to Agricultural Development of Indonesia. N.d. 7 p. (Mimeographed.)

______. In a Short Time Indonesia Produce Enough Rice to Stop Imports. April 29, 1968. 10 p. (Typewritten.)

______. Letter to Belen H. Abreu, Executive Trustee, Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation re establishment of the Foundation for Indonesian Farming Development. Kebun Djeruk Sumatra, Indonesia. September 3, 1972.

______. Pilot Project "PADI UTAMA" Kopan Kosgoro Experimental Farm. November 18, 1968. 10 p. (Typewritten.)

______. Possibilities of Quick Rural Development in North Sumatra Based on Results Obtained by Kebun Djeruk. January 29, 1969. 6 p. (Typewritten.)

______. A Proposal to Male Use of Private Initiative in Promoting Agricultural Development. N.d. 23 p. (Mimeographed.)

______. Rescuing the Coconut Industry. December 28, 1971. 2 p. (Mimeographed.)

______. Why Indonesian Agriculture Remains Underdeveloped. October 27, 1971. 10 p. (Mimeographed.)

Wybenga Ir. J. M. Possibilities of Technical Aid in the Agricultural Development of Indonesia with Special Reference to North Sumatra's Conditions. July 15 1969. 12 p. (Typewritten.)

Visit to Kebun Djeruk and interviews with persons acquainted with Hans Westenberg and his work.

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