Production increase of food, particularly rice, was not in line with betterment process of farmer’s welfare. Moreover land ownership which was relatively small, i.e., less than 0.5 ha on the average, made it hard for farmers to live a decent life.
Muhransyeh Ahmad, Head of the Main Workshop and Farmers’ Training Center (BBPP) Lembang, during coordinative Public Relations Meeting In Bandung last week admitted, production and increase of food and plantations productivity was not in parallel with farmers’ welfare. Data of the Central Board of Statistics (BPS) mentioned that of the 80% poor people in Indonesia 60% were farmers.
And vet BPS also noted, rice production based in ARAM II forecast, production 2012 amounting to 68.96 million tons of dry milled, undusted grains (GKG) an increase of 3.20 million tons (4,87%) compared to 2011 which was only 65.75 million tons GKG. Corn production was posted at 18,915 million tons or an increase of 1.32 million tons (7.47%) compared to 2011 at 17.64 million tons of dry flakes.
However, the above production increase had not been able to make farmers live a decent life, because 53.68% farmers owned dry soil less than 0.5 ha and most of farmer’s land were uncertified. Their farm management was also still based on sub-system which was traditional.
“Farmer’s profile are mostly helpless because farmers’ land ownership is lass than 0.5 ha makes it difficult for farmers to be rich. In spite of increased rice production, it is herd for our farmers to live a decent life” Ahmed remarked.
Most farmers were also low educated, nearly 74% were only elementary school educated. A condition as such made it difficult for farmers to access capital; moreover banks interest rate a were notably high, as seen in the realization of credit. Credit for Food and Energy Resilience (KKPE) the interest rate was 28.1%. Credit for Energy Revitalization of Plantation (KPEN-RP) 5.7%, credit for Cattle Breeding Business (KUPS 49%) and credit for people’s business (KUR) 16.1%.
The condition was quite dilemmatic. On the one hand the Government was expecting farmers to be independent, on the other hand the Government ran the policy to mobilize farmers to overcome capital problem, four example the Development of Rural Agro Business (PUAP). To increase plantation productivity the Government extended fertilizer and seed aid.
“This is the point that makes things dilemmatic. In the future direct aid must be reduced. Farmers must be independent and aid must only be temporary and must soon be eliminated. We realize that aid system was not good for farmers’ independence” Ahmad said.
To promote farmer’s welfare, another program would be needed to enable farmers to own more land. The program was called the Agraria Reform. By economic scale the minimum land ownership was 5 ha. By that area, assuming that in one harvest farmers could reap 5 tons/ha of dry unhusked grains (GKP) the total yield would be 30 tens.
Assuming that in a year farmers could harvest three times, farmers would get 80 tons of GKP; if price of GKP was Rp 4,000/kg in a year farmers could earn up to Rp 360 million. “If the land were narrow, farmers would never be rich. So it is necessary to execute a program as the Agraria Reform to promote farmers’ welfare.” Ahmad remarked.
With Indonesia’s population posted at 240 million, the expanse of ricefied which was only 7 – 8 million was disheartening, because it means that if harvest was twice a year it was equal to only around 14 million ha, yet other countries like Iran had up to 36 million ha of harvest area. “Supposedly Indonesia had total ricefield area than 20 million ha.”
Business News - November 23, 2012