A woman carrying bundles of rice in Java. The new high yielding rice varieties have increased harvests of this staple food crop, but the question remains whether future supplies can keep pace with expected demand. - - Rural Life and Population Pressure. In the late 1960s the population of Indonesia was approximately 110,000,000, with nearly two-thirds living on Java and the nearby island of Madura. Primarily an agrarian society, more than 85% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihood. A large portion of the population live on or just above subsistence level with a life expectancy of some 32 years. Population pressure is at its most extreme on Java and colonization into sparsely populated islands, particularly nearby Sumatra, is being encouraged by the Government. These efforts are being assisted by the UNDP (FAO) and the UN/FAO World Food Programme which is supplying food to the new settlers until they can harvest their first crops. The Government has introduced family planning at child-care centres offering information and advise primarily through extension workers, with the assistance of the United Nations Population Fund.