Examining Farmer and Seed Construction in the Context of Seed Policy: A Social Constructionist Perspective

  • Catur Wulandari Universitas Tidar
  • Anita Amaliyah Universitas Tidar


The role of crop seeds extends beyond the essential task of achieving food security and is embedded in technical, social, economic, and political debates. The character of seeds and their association with farmers has transformed, influenced by social constructs embedded within policies. This research endeavors to scrutinize the impact of the social construction of farmers and seeds within national policies on their respective roles at the grassroots level. The foundational premise of this approach posits that the social construction of the target demographic significantly shapes the perspectives of public officials, thereby influencing agendas and policy formulations. Employing a qualitative methodology, this study entails the analysis of both secondary data, encompassing national seed policies, and primary data acquired through the Seed Self-Reliant Village initiative in Ngasin Village. The findings elucidate a negative construction of smallholder farmers, depicting them as lacking influence, while seeds are portrayed as integral production materials geared towards augmenting productivity. At the local level, knowledge pertaining to seeds is cultivated based on productivity criteria, delineating the appropriateness of seeds for dissemination. This research contributes valuable insights to the realm of public policy analysis, underscoring the infrequently utilized yet potent social construction approach.


Download data is not yet available.


Antons, C., Winarto, Y. T., & Prihandiani, A. F. (2020). Farmer-plant-breeders and the law on Java , Indonesia. Critical Asian Studies, 52(4), 589–609. https://doi.org/10.1080/14672715.2020.1822750
Antons, C., Winarto, Y. T., Prihandiani, A. F., & Uli, S. (2020a). Farmers as researchers: Goverment Regulation of Farmers’ Local Knowledge in Indonesia. In Local Knowledge, Intellectual Property and Agricultural Innovation (pp. 117–151). Springer, Singapore.
Antons, C., Winarto, Y. T., Prihandiani, A. F., & Uli, S. (2020b). Farmers as researchers: government regulation of farmers’ local knowledge in Indonesia. In M. Blakeney & K. H. M. Siddique (Eds.), Local Knowledge, Intellectual Property and Agricultural Innovation (pp. 117–151). Springer.
Bainus, A., & Yulianti, D. (2018). Food Security or Food Sovereignty? Questioning the Paradigm of Indonesian Military Involvement in Agriculture. Central European Journal of International & Security Studies, 12(4), 309–324. https://search.proquest.com/docview/2394978719?accountid=17242
Balazs, B., & Aistara, G. (2018). The Emergence, Dynamics, and Agency of Social Innovation in Seed Exchange Networks. International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture & Food, 24(3), 336–353. https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=sih&AN=133550936&lang=pt-br&site=ehost-live
Bell, E. (2019). Deserving to Whom ? Investigating Heterogeneity in the Impact of Social Constructions of Target Populations on Support for Affirmative Action. 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1111/psj.12347
Berger, P. L., & Luckmann, T. (1966). The Social Construction of Reality: Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Penguin Books.
Bezner Kerr, R. (2013). Seed struggles and food sovereignty in northern Malawi. Journal of Peasant Studies, 40(5), 867–897. https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2013.848428
Bishop, C., & Hilhorst, D. (2010). The Journal of Modern African African Studies : From food aid to food security : the case of the Safety Net policy in Ethiopia From food aid to food security : the case of the Safety Net policy in Ethiopia. 181–202. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022278X10000248
Boyer, J. (2010). Food security , food sovereignty , and local challenges for transnational agrarian movements : the Honduras case. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 27(2), 319–351. https://doi.org/10.1080/03066151003594997
BPPKP. (2015, September). Panen Perdana Padi Desa Mandiri Benih di Dusun Ngaran Desa Ngasinan Kecamatan Grabag. Https://Distanpangan.Magelangkab.Go.Id/Home/Detail/Panen-Perdana-Padi-Desa-Manidiri-Benih-Di-Dusun-Ngaran-Ds-Ngasinan-Kecamatan-Grabag/67.
Breen, S. (2015). Saving Seeds: The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Native American Seed-Savers, and Problems of Property. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 5(2), 27–38. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2015.052.016
Carney, G. M. (2010). Citizenship and structured dependency : the implications of policy design for senior political power. Ageing and Society, 30, 229–251. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X09990110
Cerda, C., & Bidegain, I. (2018). Spectrum of concepts associated with the term B biodiversity ^ : a case study in a biodiversity hotspot in South America.
Collins, M. E. (2017). Comparative Analysis of State Policymaking in Child Welfare : Explaining Policy Choices. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 00(00), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/13876988.2017.1390867
Creswell, J. W. (2018). Research Design: Pendekatan Metode Kualitatif, Kuantitatif dan Campuran (A. Fawaid & R. K. Pancasari (Eds.); Edisi 4). Pustaka Pelajar.
Cuevas, S. M. M., Fernandez, J. E. C., & de Guzman Olvida, I. (2015). Where peasants are kings: Food sovereignty in the tagbanua traditional subsistence system. Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 8(1), 27–44. https://doi.org/10.14764/10.ASEAS-2015.1-3
Daye, R. (2020). Competing food sovereignties: GMO-free activism, democracy and state preemptive laws in Southern Oregon. Agriculture and Human Values, 0123456789. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-020-10034-8
DeLeon, P. (2005). Social Construction for Public Policy. Public Administration Riview, 65(5), 635–638. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2005.00491.x
Desa Mandiri Benih Menjadikan Petani Mampu Mandiri. (2019). https://www.tribunnews.com/nasional/2019/05/15/desa-mandiri-benih-menjadikan-petani-mampu-mandiri.%0A%0A
Drew, R. B. (2013). Constructing Homeownership Policy : Social Constructions and the Design of the Low-Income Homeownership Policy Objective. Housing Studies, 28(4), 616–631. https://doi.org/10.1080/02673037.2013.760030
Dunford, R., & Dunford, R. (2015). of International Studies : Human rights and collective emancipation : The politics of food sovereignty Human rights and collective emancipation : The politics of food sovereignty. August 2014, 239–261. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0260210514000187
Escobar, L. M. G. (2016). The Political Ontology of Seeds: Seed Sovereignty Strunggles in An Indigenous Resguardo in Colombia. In Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences. Universidad de Carolina del Norte en Chapel Hill.
FAO. (2001). The State of Food Security in The World.
Filindra, A. (2014). The Emergence of the “ Temporary Mexican ”: American Agriculture , the US Congress , and the 1920 Hearings on the Temporary Admission of Illiterate Mexican Laborers and the 1920 Hearings on the Temporary Admission of Illiterate Mexican Laborers. 49(3), 85–102. https://doi.org/10.1353/lar.2014.0042 F
Flora, C. B. (2010). Food security in the context of energy and resource depletion : Sustainable agriculture in developing countries. 25(2), 118–128. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1742170510000177
Fording, R. C., Soss, J., & Schram, S. F. (2011). Race and the Local Politics of Punishment in the New World of Welfare. American Journal of Sociology, 116(5), 1610–1657.
Fox, J. J. (1991). Managing the Ecology of Rice Production in Indonesia. In H. Joan (Ed.), Indonesia: Recources, ecology and Environment (pp. 61–84). Oxford University Press.
Francis-Tan, A., & Tannuri-Pianto, M. (2015). Inside the black box: affirmative action and the social construction of race in Brazil. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38(15), 2771–2790. https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2015.1077602
Fuglie, K. O., Adiyoga, W., Asmunati, R., Mahalaya, S., & Suherman, R. (2006). Farm demand for quality potato seed in Indonesia. Agricultural Economics, 35, 257–266.
Gaudreau, M. (2019). State food security and people’s food sovereignty: competing visions of agriculture in China. Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 40(1), 12–28. https://doi.org/10.1080/02255189.2017.1410470
Gentilucci, E. (2018). Intellectual property rights and the commodification of nature : the case of seeds. Munich Personal RePEc Archive Intellectual, 90527, 1–25.
Gentilucci, E. (2019). Intellectual property rights and the commodification of nature : the case of seeds. MPRA, 90527.
Gutiérrez Escobar, L., & Fitting, E. (2016). The Red de Semillas Libres: Contesting Biohegemony in Colombia. Journal of Agrarian Change, 16(4), 711–719. https://doi.org/10.1111/joac.12161
Hananel, R. (2018). Deserving and privileged : the social construction of the right to housing in Israel. Israel Affairs, 24(1), 128–149. https://doi.org/10.1080/13537121.2017.1398462
Hawkins, K. W., & Linvill, D. L. (2010). Public Health Framing of News Regarding Childhood Obesity in the United States. Health Communication, 25(8), 709–717. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2010.521913
Ingram, H., & Schneider, A. L. (1997). Policy Design for Democracy. University Press of Kansas.
Ingram, H., & Schneider, A. L. (2005). Making distinctions : the social construction of target populations. In Hanbook of critical policy studies (pp. 259–273).
Ingram, H., Schneider, A. L., & DeLeon, P. (2007). Social Construction and Policy Design. In P. A. Sabatier (Ed.), Theories of the Policy Process (p. 93). Westview Press.
Kloppenburg, J. (2008). Seeds , Sovereignty , and the Vía Campesina : Plants , Property , and the Promise of Open Source Biology. Workshop on Food Sovereignty: Theory, Praxis and Power, 1–26.
Kolady, D. E., & Awal, M. A. (2018). Seed industry and seed policy reforms in Bangladesh : impacts and implications. International Food and Agribusiiness Management Riview, 21(7), 989–1002. https://doi.org/10.22434/IFAMR2017.0061
Kreitzer, R. J., & Smith, C. W. (2018). Reproducible and Replicable: An Empirical Assessment of the Social Construction of Politically Relevant Target Groups. American Political Science Association, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049096518000987
La Via Campesina. (2008). Seed Heritage of the People for The Good of Humanity (From the Women Seed Forum in South Korea). https://viacampesina.org/en/seed-heritage-of-the-people-for-the-good-of-humanity/
Lestari, S. R. P. (2018). Pengembangan Desa Mandiri Benih dalam Rangka Mendukung Tahun Perbenihan 2018. In http://bbppmbtph.tanamanpangan.pertanian.go.id (Vol. 63, Issue 2, pp. 1–3). http://forschungsunion.de/pdf/industrie_4_0_umsetzungsempfehlungen.pdf%0Ahttps://www.dfki.de/fileadmin/user_upload/import/9744_171012-KI-Gipfelpapier-online.pdf%0Ahttps://www.bitkom.org/ sites/default/files/ pdf/Presse/Anhaenge-an-PIs/ 2018/180607 -Bitkom
Louhichi, K., & Gomez, S. (2014). A farm household model for agri-food policy analysis in developing countries : Application to smallholder farmers in Sierra Leone. Food Policy, 45, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2013.10.012
Mayet, M. (2015). Seed sovereignty in Africa: Challenges and opportunities. Development (Basingstoke), 58(2–3), 299–305. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41301-016-0037-x
Mccann, J. C. (2011). The Political Ecology of Cereal Seed Development in Africa : A History of Selection. IDS Bulletin, 42(4), 24–35. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1759-5436.2011.00233.x
McGuire, S. J. (2007). Vulnerability in Farmer Seed Systems : Farmer Practices in Eastern Ethiopia. Economic Botany, 61(3), 211–222.
Müller, B. (2020). Flux, unrelenting–the struggle for local seed sovereignty in Nicaragua. Journal of Peasant Studies, 47(4), 720–740. https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2020.1738395
Oberthür, S., & Pozarowska, J. (2013). Managing Institutional Complexity and Fragmentation: The Nagoya Protocol and the Global Governance of Genetic Resources. Global Environmental Politics, 13, 100–118. https://doi.org/10.1162/GLEP
Ostrom, E. (2000). Reformulating the Commons. Swiss Political Science Riview, 6(1), 29–52.
Paul, A. (2018). The gift of the grain: Beyond biopolitics? Social Theory and Asian Dialogues: Cultivating Planetary Conversations, 423–436. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-7095-2_21
Peschard, K., & Randeria, S. (2020). ‘Keeping seeds in our hands’: the rise of seed activism. Journal of Peasant Studies, 47(4), 613–647. https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2020.1753705
Pierce, J. J., Siddiki, S., Jones, M. D., Schumacher, K., Pattison, A., & Peterson, H. (2014). Social Construction and Policy Design : A Review of Past Applications. 42(1).
Propantoko, H., Hasian, W., Nuraini, N., Batara, L. N., & Abdullah, S. (2019). Indkes Kedaulatan Pangan.
Remington, T., Maroko, J., & Omanga, P. (2002). Getting Off the Seeds-and-tools Treadmill with CRS Seed Vouchers and Fairs. Disaster, 26(4), 316–328. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7717.00209
Reuter, T. A. (2017). Seeds of Life ,Seeds of Hunger: Corporate Agendas, Agricultural Development Policy and the Struggle for Seed Sovereignty (East Timor, Indonesia. Anthropology of Food [Online], Feed the Debate. http://journals.openedition.org/aof/8135
Ross, L. (2006). Where Do We Belong ? Urban Adolescents ’ Struggle for Place and Voice. American Journal of Community Psychology, 37(3/4), 293–301. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10464-006-9041-8
Salazar, R., Louwaars, N. P., & Visser, B. (2007). Protecting Farmers’ New Varieties: New Approaches to Rights on Collective Innovations in Plant Genetic Resources. World Development, 35(9), 1515–1528. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2006.05.019
Schneider, A., & Ingram, H. (1993). Social Construction of Target Populations : Implications for Politics and Policy. American Political Science Riview, 87(2), 334–347.
Schneider, A. L. (2012). Punishment Policy in the American States from 1890 to 2008 : Convergence , Divergence , Synchronous Change , and Feed-Forward Effects. Policy Studies Journal, 40(2), 193–210.
Schneider, A. L., & Ingram, H. (1990). The Behavioral Assumptions of Policy Tools. The Journal of Politics, 25(2), 510–529. https://doi.org/10.2307/2131904
Schneider, A. L., & Ingram, H. M. (2005). Deserving and Entitled: Social Construction and Public Policy. State University of New York Press.
Schneider, A. L., & Ingram, H. M. (2018). Social Constructions , Anticipatory Feedback Strategies , and Deceptive Public Policy. Policy Studies Journal, 0, 1–31. https://doi.org/10.1111/psj.12281
Schroedel, J. R., & Jordan, D. R. (1998). Senate voting and social construction of target populations: A study of AIDS policy making, 1987-1992. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 23(1), 107–132. https://doi.org/10.1215/03616878-23-1-107
Shiva, V. (1993). The Violence of the Green Revolution Third World Agriculture, Ecology and Politics (2nd ed.). Zed Book Ltd. London and New York, Third Word Network.
Shiva, V. (2016). Defending Farmers ’ Seed Freedom. Indian Journal of Women and Social Change, 1(2), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1177/2455632716674853
Short, R., & Magaña, L. (2010). Political Rhetoric, Immigration Attitudes , and Contemporary Prejudice : A Mexican American Dilemma. The Journal of Social Psychology, 142(6), 701–712. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224540209603930
Snow, D., & Snow, D. (2019). The social construction of naturopathic medicine in Canadian newspapers newspapers. Policy Studies, 0(0), 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1080/01442872.2019.1704234
Sperling, L., & Longley, C. (2002). Editorial : Beyond Seeds and Tools : Effective Support to Farmers in Emergencies. Disaster, 26(4), 283–287. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7717.00206
Spielman, D. J., Kolady, D. E., Cavalieri, A., & Rao, N. C. (2014). The seed and agricultural biotechnology industries in India: An analysis of industry structure, competition, and policy options. Food Policy, 45, 88–100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2014.01.001
Stabile, B. (2016a). Reproductive policy and the social construction of motherhood. Politics and the Life Sciences, 35(2), 18–29. https://doi.org/10.1017/pls.2016.15
Stabile, B. (2016b). Reproductive policy and the social construction of motherhood. Politics and the Life Science, 35(2), 18–29. https://doi.org/10.1017/pls.2016.15
Stein, S. J. (2001). ` These are your Title I students ’: Policy language in educational practice. Policy Sciences, 34, 135–156.
Tangen, J., & Tangen, J. (2020). Timescapes in Public Policy – Constructing the “ Victim of Trafficking ” Timescapes in Public Policy – Constructing the “ Victim of. Journal of Borderlands Studies, 0(0), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1080/08865655.2020.1787189
Taylor, P., & Earl, C. (2016). The Social Construction of Retirement and Evolving Policy Discourse of Working Longer. Journal of Social Policy, 45(2), 251–268. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047279415000665
Teklewold, H., Kassie, M., Shiferaw, B., & Köhlin, G. (2013). Cropping system diversification, conservation tillage and modern seed adoption in Ethiopia: Impacts on household income, agrochemical use and demand for labor. Ecological Economics, 93, 85–93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.05.002
Thomas, K., Rosenberger, J. G., & Pawloski, L. R. (2014). Journal of Hunger & Environmental Food Security in Bombardopolis , Haiti. February 2015, 37–41. https://doi.org/10.1080/19320248.2014.908446
van Niekerk, J., & Wynberg, R. (2017). Traditional seed and exchange systems cement social relations and provide a safety net: A case study from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 41(9–10), 1099–1123. https://doi.org/10.1080/21683565.2017.1359738
Wagner, T. P., Morris, L. A., Wagner, T. P., & Morris, L. A. (2018). Improving comprehension of public policy design using social constructions of target populations theory social constructions of target populations theory. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 24(2), 195–215. https://doi.org/10.1080/15236803.2018.1429813
Wittman, H. (2009). Reworking the Metabolic Rift : La Vía Campesina , Agrarian Citizenship , and Food Sovereignty. Journal of Peasant Studies, 36(4), 805–826. https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150903353991
Yates, J., & Whitford, A. B. (2009). Race in the War on Drugs : The Social Consequences of Presidential Rhetoric. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 6(4), 874–898.
Yazdani, A. T., & Ali, N. (2017). Seed policy in Pakistan : The impact of new laws on food sovereignty and sustainable development AMNA TANWEER YAZDANI AND NOSHEEN ALI SEED POLICY IN PAKISTAN : THE IMPACT OF NEW LAWS ON FOOD SOVEREIGNTY AND SUSTAINABLE. Lahore Journal of Policy Studies, 7(1), 77–106.
How to Cite
WULANDARI, Catur; AMALIYAH, Anita. Examining Farmer and Seed Construction in the Context of Seed Policy: A Social Constructionist Perspective. JESS (Journal of Education on Social Science), [S.l.], v. 8, n. 1, p. 14-31, apr. 2024. ISSN 2550-0147. Available at: <http://jess.ppj.unp.ac.id/index.php/JESS/article/view/525>. Date accessed: 22 june 2024. doi: https://doi.org/10.24036/jess.v8i1.525.