The existence of tea smallholder farmer groups as a social entity has an important and strategic role in realizing the self-reliance of its members on tea farming activity. This study aimed at determining the self-reliance of members on tea smallholder farmer groups in West Java Province, and the factors that influence toward the self-reliance of members on tea smallholder farmer groups in West Java Province. The study used mixed method approach with sequential explanantory strategy. Proportional stratified random sampling with 128 members of tea smallholders farmer group (farmers) or 20% of the sample population with 643 members (farmers) sampling method was used. Quantitative data were analyzed by using path analysis, while qualitative data were analyzed by using triangulation of sources. The study showed that the level of the member's self-reliance of tea smallholder farmer groups as a whole in decision making, initiatives creative and innovative, and solving problems related to the tea farming is in moderate category. The self-reliance of members needs to improve, especially on the initiative, creativity and innovation. From path analysis, member's self-reliance of tea smallholder farmer groups were affected from strongest to weakest by role of tea farmer groups, extension, the availability of capital, farming experience, age, land size, market opportunities, and work motivation. The self-reliance of members on tea smallholder farmer groups most effectively can be enhanced through the improving the role of tea smallholder farmer groups.
Self-reliance, farmer groups, tea farming, smallholders, West Java