Holistic Agrarian Reform

Iwan Nurdin facilitates the Consolidation of Agrarian Reform Movement requiring a holistic-systematic approach, meaning that various approaches such as history, sociology, politics, economics and gender must be considered. (Photo: Achmad Yakub/Bina Desa)

DENPASAR, BINADESA.ORG – One of the agenda contained in the Nawa Cita (Sanskirt: Nine Agendas) is the implementation of agrarian reform. The administration of Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla issued Presidential Regulation No. 45 of 2016 on the 2017 Government Work Plan (issued in May 2016).

There are at least 5 priority programs related to Agrarian Reform; First, the strengthening of the regulatory framework and agrarian conflict resolution; second, the arrangement of land tenure and land ownership of Land Object of Agrarian Reform (TORA); third, Legal certainty and legalization of rights of TORA; fourth, Community empowerment in the use, utilization and production of TORA; and fifth, Institutional implementation of Central and Regional Agrarian Reform.

There are several goals of this agrarian reform implementation proposed by the government, namely to reduce inequality of land tenure and land ownership, to create community prosperity and wellbeing, to improve and to maintain the quality of the environment, and to improve food security. In addition, it also aims to solve agrarian conflicts, to provide the community an access to economic resources, to reduce poverty, and to create jobs. In implementing agrarian reform, the government uses two strategies. First, targeting at achieving 9 million hectares through two schemes namely asset legalization and land redistribution with an area of 4.5 million ha, each. Second, targeting at allocating 12.7 million ha for social forestry in various forms such as hutan desa (village forests), hutan kemasyarakatan, (community forest), and hutan tanaman rakyat (community plantation) and others. These two strategies are considered not potential to meet the goals of the agrarian reform implementation according to agrarian reform movement.

To ensure that agrarian reform runs as mandated by the Constitution and 1960 BAL, Bina Desa with the Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA) held a consolidation of agrarian reform in Denpasar in mid-July 2017. This event was attended by farmer organizations, NGOs, the government, and farmer groups, including the leaders of farmer organizations such as Muhammad Nuruddin (API), Agusdin Pulungan (WAMTI), Ahmad Sofyan and Faisol (SPU), Nadia (APPI), and NGO represented by Dewi Kartika (Secretary General of KPA), Iwan Nurdin (Chairperson of DN KPA) Dwi Astuti (Bina Desa), Tri Chandra (chairperson of Agrarian Reform  working groups of the ministry of Village), Indra and Wayan (KPA Bali), Soetrisno Kusumohadi and Suwarto Adi (Bina Desa founders), Eko Cahyono (Sains), Gunawan (IHCS) and other representatives.

In their opening speech, Soetrisno and Suwarto conveyed that agrarian reform in Indonesia requires a holistic-systematic approach, meaning that various approaches such as history, sociology, politics, economics and gender must be considered. Why? It is because this agrarian reform issue has involved several generations, and often involves quite sensitive matters, revealing historical wounds of the past. This last thing is not easy enough to do.

Seeing the commitment of the government today, although the practice is relatively difficult, we hope that the process taking over decades, ensnaring Indonesian peasants, can gradually begin to find the way out. Legally and normatively, actually the way to welfare of farmers through agrarian reform is available. However, once again, practically, it is not an easy task.

Deep and perennial agrarian conflicts need to find the right solution within the framework of the agrarian reform implementation (Photo: Mulya Jaya Villagers, East Oku)


The Reality amid Agrarian Reform Implementation

Farmer organisations such as Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API) and Wahana Tani Nelayan Indonesia (WAMTI) undergo serious institutional issues in strengthening farmer cooperatives. One of their challenges is the social condition of farmers, which has been made dependent on the outsiders, the role of middlemen, project-based organizations and others. Based on the regulation, farmer institutions is already available. Gunawan, IHCS, states that Law on the Protection and Empowerment of Farmers is one of the legal instruments for strengthening farmer institutions and land distribution, i.e. 2 ha per family.

Eko Cahyono, Science, highlights the solution of agrarian conflicts dragging on because the approach used is technocratic, not digging up the real sources of conflict. Accordingly, Dewi Kartika criticizes that the current agrarian reform implementation is still stuck in targeting certification, meanwhile, it should be focus more on conflict resolution and land distribution. Moreover, it imposes social forestry strategy that is actually out of the agrarian reform.

The consolidation of this agrarian reform movement was also firmly responded by Dwi Astuti, Bina Desa related to the role of women and gender justice. So far the issue of gender justice is considered formalistic, whereas we expect it to be substantive and practical, starting from the planning.

Other issues emerging in the community are the conflict between villagers with Perhutani (State-owned Forestry Enterprise), which has resulted in social, economic and psychological damage to the society as it drags on. As stated by Indra (KPA Bali), the conflict in Sumberklampok Village, Grokgak Sub-district, Buleleng Regency, Bali Province has not yet ended until now. Even the solution process becomes increasingly unclear. Internal BPN (National Land Agency) exposes the Sumberklampok land status as a provincial asset even though the certificate of the land management rights (HPL) on behalf of the provincial government has not been made to date. This statement supports the unilateral statement of the Governor of Bali, claiming without a clear evident that 624 ha of land occupied by 696 families since 1992 is provincial assets. In this case, it will deprive citizens of their rights and access to the land that they have occupied and cultivated since 1922.

The last but not least, according to the goals of agrarian reform, realizing justice in terms of land tenure and land Ownership is the main point, as well as, the resolution of agrarian conflicts, production models and institutional economic cooperatives with ecological and social dimension, and gender equality. The last two matters, namely conflict resolution and ecological social as well as gender equality seem to require special treatment. Similarly, the authority and recognition of the village since the existence of the Village Law, must be included in the agenda of agrarian reform implementation in the village not only in the economic empowerment of rural communities, but also in the efforts of how the village becomes the implementing unit of agrarian reform.*** (bd018)


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