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Rabu, 16 Desember 2009

Meratapi Nasib (Petani) Indonesia



Ada dua sinyalemen menarik yang paradog, yaitu pertumbuhan ekonomi yang tidak berjalan linier dengan pengurangan pengangguran secara signifikan. Di tambah sinyal dari Menteri Keuangan, Sri Mulyani, dalam sidang tahunan Bank Pembangunan Asia (ADB), bahwa tanda-tanda krisis seperti 1997 akan muncul lagi, yaitu membajirnya likuiditas (pasokan dana segar) di negara-negara Asia, tepat setelah satu dasawarsa krisis menjalari negara-negara Asia. Kasus di Jawa Tengah misalnya, meskipun pertumbuhan ekonominya meningkat selama 5 tahun terakhir, Sensus Ekonomi BPS Jawa Tengah juga menunjukkan meningkatnya laju pengangguran. Tercatat bahwa pada tahun 2001 tingkat pertumbuhan ekonomi sebanyak 3,59 %, naik menjadi 5,33% pada 2006 (Suara Merdeka, 11/5/2007). Tenaga kerja yang terserap sekitar 7,78 juta, dan tersebar di seluruh sektor ekonomi kecuali pertanian, meliputi sektor industri pengolahan dan perdagangan masing-masing menyerap 2,64 juta orang dan 2,43 juta orang. Mencermati fenomena ini layak bilamana publik bertanya-tanya apa relevansi pertumbuhan makro ekonomi dengan pergerakan sektor riil? Dan ujung dari tanda tanya besar tersebut adalah dimana ditempatkan nasib rakyat di antara data-data ekonomi tersebut?


Selama ini strategi Pemerintah untuk meningkatkan pertumbuhan makro ekonomi salah satunya dilakukan dengan upaya meningkatkan daya saing Indonesia di pasar Internasional dengan harapan mendorong ekonomi Indonesia melalui peningkatan investasi, ekspor, dan penciptaan lapangan pekerjaan. Pertanyaan lain yang muncul adalah, strategi seperti apakah yang telah disiapkan pemerintah untuk menciptakan industri yang layak atau yang bisa diandalkan untuk bersaing di kancah Internasional mengingat Indonesia belum memiliki industri andalan dan belum memiliki kekuatan yang signifikan untuk pasar domestik. Reformasi mikroekonomi di sektor riil sendiri tidak pernah dilakukan, dan tanpa adanya restrukturisasi di sektor mikro, pertumbuhan makro ekonomi tidak akan terjadi dan data pengangguran terus akan melonjak walupun kononnya terjadi "pertumbuhan" ekonomi dan penyerapan tenaga kerja di seluruh sektor ekonomi. Pelaksanaan industrialisasi secara random tanpa adanya kajian menyeluruh demi mencapai kesejahteraan bersama telah membahayakan negeri ini.


Di sisi lain, sebagai negara agraris, arah pembangunan seharusnya dipusatkan pada pemberdayaan dan pemandirian masyarakat petani, dan bukan sebaliknya, malah mengesampingkan sektor riil dan kesejahteraan masyarakat petani. Sektor riil selalu dianggap sebagai sektor yang tidak mungkin maju tanpa digalakkannya industrialisasi pada sektor tersebut. Padahal telah disadari bahwa industrialisasi hanya akan menghasilkan jutaan buruh tani berubah "nasib" menjadi buruh industri. SBY sendiri pernah melontarkan gagasan Revitalisasi Pertanian, Perikanan, dan Kehutanan yang di sebut-sebut salah satu dari "Triple Track Strategy" Kabinet Indonesia Bersatu dalam rangka pengurangan kemiskinan dan pengangguran, serta peningkatan daya saing ekonomi nasional. Target penurunan kemiskinan dari 16,6 % tahun 2004 menjadi 8,2 % tahun 2009 dan penurunan pengangguran terbuka dari dari 9,7 % tahun 2004 menjadi 5,1% tahun 2009, dan mengharuskan pemerintah menggenjot laju berbagai usaha pembangunan ekonomi untuk mencapai antara lain pertumbuhan ekonomi rata-rata hingga 6,6 % per tahun. Disamping itu rasio investasi terhadap GDP harus naik dari 16,0 % pada tahun 2004 menjadi 24,4 % pada tahun 2009; dan rata-rata pertumbuhan pertanian, perikanan dan kehutanan mencapai 3,5 % per tahun. Namun ironisnya, program tersebut berhenti pada jargon dan hampir tidak ada implementasi mendasar dan tidak hanya itu seluruh lapisan masyarakat pun menjadi korban dari gagasan Revitalisasi. Bukannya memperbaiki ekonomi domestik melainkan mengeskplotasi sektor riil melalui industrialisasi yang mematahkan kemandirian masyarakat petani. Apa buktinya? Harga beras yang membumbung tinggi, impor beras naik drastis. Akibat lanjutan tentu saja tidak ada upaya perbaikan nasib petani yang menyokong program-program pro-petani. Bahkan pembukaan kran impor makin deras. Terlihat sekali kepentingan pedagang jauh lebih kuat daripada memberdayakan petani yang dari dulu tidak pernah terang nasibnya.


Mungkin ada benarnya jika kita mengklasifikasikan diri sebagai negara kaum buruh, karena kesejahteraan rakyat Indonesia, khususnya masyarakat petani, tidak pernah bergerak secara vertikal melainkan bergeser secara horizontal dimana rakyat hanya menerima nasib sebagai buruh, sehingga ketika kita berbicara mengenai posisi rakyat Indonesia di antara kebijakan ekonomi dan moneter yang dicanangkan pemerintah, rakyat kita tidak memiliki satu posisi tawar apapun karena pemerintah selama ini hanya mengandalkan comparative benefits yang bergantung pada upah muruh yang sangat murah dan eksploitasi sumber daya alam melalui rancangan program-program revitalis (baca: industrialisasi).


Meskipun di tingkat internasional ada seruan untuk mengurangi tingkat kemiskinan secara signifikan dengan batas waktu tahun 2015, atau sering dikatakan MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), juga tidak berpengaruh banyak mengubah paradigma pemerintah untuk pro terhadap nasib petani, yang secara mayoritas menempati urutan teratas matapencaharian rakyat Indonesia. Hal ini disebabkan tidak ada program yang diimplementasikan secara nyata, dan tidak berhenti pada jargon politik semata dan untuk memperkuat citra rezim.


Disamping itu lahirnya UU Penanaman Modal (UU PM) beberapa waktu lalu, yang menuai badai protes dari masyarakat dan membuat situasi ekonomi sektor riil semakin terpuruk. UU PM ini menggantikan UU Penanaman Modal Asing dan Dalam Negeri (UU PMA No 1 Tahun 1967dan UU PMDN No 6 Tahun 1968) yang telah berlaku selama 30 tahun. UU PM makin menggenapkan dugaan bahwa pada hakikatnya pemerintah tidak pernah pro-rakyat dan lebih memihak pada kepentingan investor. Seolah-olah lahirnya UU ini juga membuka tabir "neoliberal malu-malu". UU PM yang mempercepat laju swastanisasi dan menjembatani kepentingan para neo-liberalist ini juga tidak pernah dikaji ulang oleh pemerintah. Sudah terang pula, bahwa secara langsung telah terjadi penghianatan terhadap pasal 33 dimana seharusnya pemerintah melindungi kepentingan seluruh masyrakat Indonesia dan sumberdaya yang dimiliki oleh bangsa ini. Akan sangat sulit untuk mengontrol Penanaman Modal terutama Foreign Direct Investment jika kita tidak melakukan usaha yang melindungi sektor-sektor riil. Posisi Pemerintah Indonesia yang mendukung liberalisasi perdagangan di level internasional, secara langsung telah mendukung agenda badan-badan keuangan swasta Internasional untuk mendongkrak swastanisasi perusahaan-perusahaan milik negara dan investasi swasta asing.


Pergantian personel menteri Kabinet Indonesia Bersatu (KIB) baru berlangsung satu minggu lalu. Tidak ada yang menonjol dari figur-figur yang masuk dalam jajaran kabinet. Sepertinya, nuansa kompromi politik dan penguatan dukungan menuju 2009 bagi rezim berkuasa lebih kuat daripada tujuan untuk memperbaiki nasib rakyat yang tidak kunjung membaik pasca krisis ekonomi yang sudah berlangsung hampir 1 dasawarsa. Program-program yang menyentuh ekonomi kecil juga nampak tumpul dari kreasi-kreasi menteri yang ada, baik tatkala reshuffle jilid pertama maupun kedua ini. Mereka lebih terpaku pada indikator makro yang sebetulnya lebih mirip seperti mitos dalam perbaikan nasib rakyat secara nyata. Terbukanya cadar karakter ekonomi rezim SBY-JK ini menyatakan bahwa Pemerintah dengan bulat-bulat dan suka rela menyerahkan nasib rakyat pada kepentingan asing. Selayaknya Pemerintah sudah bisa memulai upaya untuk mencapai pertumbuhan ekonomi yang pro rakyat, dan untuk itulah diperlukan perubahan sikap dan strategi pada sektor mikro serta pembenahan sektor ekonomi domestik serta kebijakannya dan tidak mengeskpos diri terhadap ekonomi neo-liberalisasi melalui swastanisasi sektor-sektor utama milik negara yang merusak ekonomi baik di level makro maupun mikro. Oleh karena itulah, pantas kalau kita harus meratapi nasib Indonesia.

(Wawan Fahrudin, dan C.Naida, Peneliti Pathways Institute)

Rabu, 28 Januari 2009

Government Purchase Price (HPP) is not the Remedy for National Rice Politic






The Federation of Indonesian Peasants Union (FSPI) as peasant’s organization would like to point out some critical points facing the increase on Government purchase price price and the national rice politics these days:

First, the peasants are appreciating the government good will to revise Inpres (Presidential decree) 13/2005 into Inpres 3/2007. Neverthless in our opinion the new price set up in the Inpres 3/2007 is still not sufficient enough to increase the peasants wellfare, with the input cost and basic needs that rocketing after the increase in fuel price of 126 percent (October 2005). Based on FSPI calculation in several areas using the welfare and poverty model according National Beareau of Statistic (BPS) the appropriate government purchase price is Rp 3.320 per kg. We consider the increasing on government purchase price is one of government effort to stimulate agricultural sector (especially in rice sector). The peasants also see that maximum price mechanism (ceiling price) set in the lattest Inpres is not so suitable. It can be concluded from the Bulog mechanism and the domestic market in these past two years. Government couldn’t protect the domestic market and buying the un-husked rice directly from the peaasants because the decree only allows them to buy under or at the same price as government policy price. It will be rational and fair if the government set the floor price that will cover the production cost plus peasant’s incentive, and the ceiling price that can be used as government control to the market. Last note, price is not the only factor that can suddenly increse rice peasants welfare in Indonesia. There is still another key factor, like rice production infrasturcture and post production mechanism-which will define the consumers’ rice price.

Secondly, the role of Bulog. Bulog’s role is clearly limited since 1998 with the Letter of Intent (LoI) signed by the Government and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Considering this condition, the fact of Bulog two side functions as profit seeker and Public Service Obligation (PSO) has to be evaluated immadietly. Bulog should give more focuss on its PSO function to serve the peasants, and regulating people’s food logistic better. This stratetic function has to fully realize because a great country is a country that can actualize food soverignty to its people. For that reason, it is important to create an institution that is capable of fully controlling Indonesian food stock and logistic issue.

Considering the pricipal issues above, Bulog has to move fast for the people-especially peasants. At this moment, harvest season is starting in several areas (mostly West Java, Central Java, East Java, and North Sumatera), and Bulog must buy the un-husked rice DIRECLY from the peasants. Many reports from FSPI’s peasants that show Bulog never buy the un-husked rice directly from the peasants. Even in District Karawang- the nearest rice production centre from Jakarta- Bulog can only but less than 30 percent! According to the statement from a few FSPI’s peasants the profit that peasants receive is nothing compare to the profit receive by the milling or the trader. They receive margin almost half of the rice price, and more that 65 percent profit in the rice trading process. That is way Bulog must buy un-husked rice directly from the peasants and not from the milling, midle man or trader. If Bulog can do that in our opinion there will be no problem in the stock supply and the peasants will feel secure and close to the Bulog/government.

The 6.46 trilliun rupiah that Bulog spent in 2007 to buy 1.615 million tons will be better if tjey convert it to buy un-husked rice. Almost 90 percent of Indonesian peasants sold un-husked rice not the rice. So, if Bulog buy rice they not benefit the peasants-but the traders. This is very risky to sepulate, lenghtening rice trade chain, increase price and making the stock become difficult to count which exactly the issue of rice problem last year. From FSPI calculation, this year Bulog fund can help them to provide 3,23 million tons of un-husked rice.

Third, the pre and post production issue: the main issue. The biggest problem that Indonesian peasants facing is that they do not have the control for the main productive resources which is land, water and production infrastructure. Approximately 13,7 million farm household is small peasants (own less than 0,5 ha of land), damage irigation, and expencive production infrastructure, due to the expencive green revolution farm input that are linger untill today. We can see that the side that always gets the big profit is the corporate that work in agrochemistry, hybrid seed producers, fertilizers and pesticide. We need to be careful so this momentum on the increasing price of un-husked rice can not be uses by corporate, profit seekers midle man and traders to increase the price of paddy production input-that will lead the rice politics back to ground zero, and will not be significant anymore for the peasants’ welfare. Government is often forget about the post production aspects, whish is to shorten up the rice trading chain which has been benetif to the traders and midle man all this time. One important thing to be noted is the consumers’ problem that not supposed to be cheap price oriented. Government along with the people should activale involve in consumers education to solve the problems in rice post production sector

To achieve a better condition, FSPI’s peasants are struggle for a genuine agrarian reform. This genuine agrarian reform is expected to be able to solve the problem of inequity on the ownership of peasants’ main productive resources, namely land, water and other inputs. Hence, we underline that the price policy is not the only great remedy for the national rice politics. Government still have many homeworks to be done, such as the issue of productive resources that are supposed to be own by the peasants, improvement in rice trading system and the consumers

Peoples’ Memorandum to the G33 Ministerial meeting in Jakarta: Now is the time for Food Sovereignty!


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We, representatives of peasant organisations, social movements and civil society organisations from across the world welcome the trade ministers from the Group of 33 to Indonesia. We recognise the importance of the G33 meeting at this juncture when the developing countries are under significant pressure to reduce their tariffs and allow more “market access” to agricultural products from the US and EU. We recognize that your efforts to resist this pressure and to gain meaningful special and differential treatment in the Doha round of WTO negotiations are important; however we would like to raise some vital issues and demands.

FARMERS DEVASTATED BY LIBERALISATION

Liberalisation of the agriculture sector under structural adjustment programmes and the Uruguay round of commitments has devastated millions of farmers throughout the developing world. The incidence of farmer suicides in India and other developing countries has shown an alarming increase and the deepening economic and social crisis in the rural sector is largely the result of liberalisation polices. Rural unemployment has increased as subsidised agricultural imports flood into developing countries. The agrarian distress has reached serious proportions and has left millions of farmers starving and landless. Countries that used to be able to feed their people have become dependent to giant global corporations, who are the main beneficiaries of the liberalisation and market opening that has taken place under the Agreement on Agriculture. A "development" outcome that meets the needs of small and marginal farmers is impossible within the WTO framework.

WTO IS ANTI FARMER AND ANTI DEVELOPMENT

The WTO is inherently anti-development. Studies by the World Bank and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace show that the gains to developing countries from the conclusion of the Doha Round are either minimal or non-existent. Projections of the gains from a “likely Doha scenario” show that just $16 billion out of $96 billion would go to developing countries. Adjusting for Special and Sensitive Products in agriculture, developing country gains come to just $ 6.7 billion (to be shared between 110 developing countries) out of a total of $ 38.4 billion. These are the figures; the human cost is millions of lost livelihoods.

SP AND SSM IS NOT ENOUGH

We recognize that SP and SSM are important mechanisms for the developing countries to protect their farmers from import surges and the volatile world markets. However, under the framework of the Agreement on Agriculture, merely designating SPs and using SSM is not going to protect peasants and small farmers.

Food and agriculture are not commodities that can be traded. This is the people’s livelihood, culture and way of life. All products are critical to peoples livelihoods, there is no way that one can be designated as a special product and all the rest be traded away.

We therefore call on the G33 Ministers to stand for your people and fight for food sovereignty.

LAMY AND THE US SHOULD NOT FORCE A DEAL

We would like to caution the G33 Ministers of the attempts by Pascal Lamy to force a deal before the deadline of the US President’s trade negotiating authority (“fast track”).

It is simply unacceptable for developing countries, which comprise the majority of the WTO membership, to be subjected to the timeline of one member, the US. Lamy and the US should not force a deal just so they can meet the deadline of the US Congress. The Doha Round should not be saved at the expense of the people. No deal is better than a bad deal.

We therefore have the following demands for the G33:

We call on the G33 Ministers to listen to their people who have been suffering the negative impacts of trade liberalisation and twelve years of WTO policies. The G33 Ministers should realize that developed countries will not reduce their massive domestic support to agriculture, thereby making it impossible to have any kind of development for the South under this framework. Simply designating 20% SPs and using SSM will not end the death of farmers and loss of livelihoods.

We call on the G33 Ministers to resist the pressure to “save” the Doha Round. There is no development for the South in this misnamed Doha “Development” Round and if it is completed, it will be a tragedy for the peoples of the world. It is better to let the Doha Round die. There are alternatives to the WTO that can deliver real development to the people.

We call on the G33 Ministers to listen to the proposals of alternatives from the people instead of trying to save the Doha “Development” Round. At the recently concluded World Forum for Food Sovereignty in Nyéléni, farmers, workers, fisherfolk, women and consumers from more than 98 countries came together to a common position and agenda for food sovereignty. These people are the victims of the WTO policies and are proposing an alternative system that will feed the people of the world in a just and sustainable manner.

Food sovereignty is more than just designating some products or even all products as Special Products. Food sovereignty is “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems 1.” We believe that Food Sovereignty is not possible under the WTO and so we call on G33 Ministers to work with us in building alternative trading systems to the WTO.

Our proposal is to have an alternative trading system based on the principle of food sovereignty which
“prioritises local and national economies and markets and empowers peasant and family farmer-driven agriculture, artisanal - fishing, pastoralist-led grazing, and food production, distribution and consumption based on environmental, social and economic sustainability. Food sovereignty promotes transparent trade that guarantees just income to all peoples and the rights of consumers to control their food and nutrition 2.”

We call on the G33 Ministers to recognize that alternative trading systems based on food sovereignty are possible and that a world without the WTO is not only possible but necessary. We invite the G33 Ministers to join us in making food sovereignty a reality for peoples all over the world.

We call on the G33 Ministers to fight for their people and to fight for food sovereignty.

Now is the time for food sovereignty! WTO out of Agriculture!

Land Dispute, Detain for Slander and Pressure toward Peasants member of North Sumatra Peasant Union in Sei Kopas Village, Bandar Pasir Mandoge (Unit I


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The Local Peasant Organization of “Maju Bersatu” is a peasant group joined in the North Sumatra Peasant Union (SPSU), precisely in Unit II Asahan, Bandar Pasir Mandoge. This group had joined since SPSU established, that was on 28 May 1999 at the leadership period of M. Yunus Nasution and M. Harris Putra as the General Chairman and the General Secretary. Since this group joined in, SPSU has understood the conflict happening.
In 1953, land clearing was done by the people, becoming Sei Kopas Village, Bandar Pasir Mandoge Subdistrict, Asahan District, which name was Silau Jawa Village. Having developed, this village became Sei Kopas Village. In 1983, the Asahan regent at that time, Dr. Bahmit Muhammad, appealed the people to invent the land to the local govt. to be used as the pattern of People’s Core Plantation for the large of ± 674 Ha. Without any explanation, the land had belonged to BSP, Ltd (Bakrie Sumatra Plantation). Afterward, the people of Sei Kopas formed the peasant Group of “Maju Bersatu” which members are about ± 250 households aiming on uniting the perception to demand the land ever used for the People’s Core Plantation. When their aspiration is no longer concerned by the govt., in 2003 the people of Sei Kopas claimed the land. The strategy used is planting the land with hard crop plants and food plant and built 3 simple building there as well. The large of the land demanded is 220 Ha.

There are many barriers and obstacles faced during the struggle to get the land back. SPSU and the peasants are incessantly getting ordeals. This group has been detained several times after being slandered. The people’s representatives and the govt. have never heeded on the peasants’ will.

In 18 august 2005, five peasants of Sei Kopas was called by the police with the accusation of land destruction in the area, those were Bonar Manurung (48 y.o), Julia br. Manik (55 y.o), Sulaiman Tobing (40 y.o), Masri br. Tampubolon (45 y.o), Charles Manurung (26 y.o). This was the first summon and it was not attended by those peasants. Feeling not guilty, the next day the members of this Local Peasant Organization met the guards bringing the evidences, they are Mangunsong and Sutrisno II. These two men confessed that they were commanded by the enterprise to take a wet log and a burnt log. Those logs were taken from other village outside the area struggled by this local Peasant Organization. These two men had reported to the sector police Bandar Pasir Mandoge and to the sector police Asahan on the slander they did. On 20 August 2005, the fifth men slandered were called again by the police. The investigator working at the sector police Asahan said that they would be met to the enterprise party. Afterward, they came back on 23 August 2005 to meet the guards of Bakrie Sumatra Plantation to prove that they were not guilty. At that time, the investigator was Managam Simanjutak said that they should not talk if he did not ask. This man asked the guard named Sutrisno whether these five men were guilty or not, sutrisno answered yes, therefore, the fifth men were directly detained in the Sector police Asahan without any chance to defend themselves and they had never been asked by the investigator during the examination process. At night, the fifth men were moved to the Civil Jail of Labuhan Ruku, Asahan.

After that incident, there were many actions done by SPSU to respond that incident. On 24 August 2005, SPSU sent a report letter and appealed to the Head of the Regional Police of North Sumatra to free its members, but there was no response. At the same time, SPSU made their position paper which was sent directly to some print Medias. SPSU had also held an audience with the Commission A of the North Sumatra Local House on this case, bringing the bundle needed and also taking along the families of the victims named Deliana, the daughter of Julia br. Manik, Evavanti br Nainggolan, the daughter in-law of Bonar Manurung, on 29 August 2005. Mr. M. Nuh, the head of the Commission A, made a call directly to the Head of Regional Police of North Sumatra and also the Head of Resort Police of Asahan, resulting on the agreement that there would be a meeting with the Head of the Resort Police of Asahan at the office of the Local House Level II, Asahan. On 1 September 2005, a meeting among Bakrie Sumatra Plantations’ party, the Head of the Resort Police, and the families of the victims accompanied by their attorney and facilitated by the Local House of Asahan. The meeting resulted on nothing. The appeal of detain postponement demanding by the victims’ families had to be replaced with the requirements proposed by Bakrie Sumatra Plantation’s party, i.e. the Local Peasant Organization of “Maju Bersatu” had to leave the land disputed. The requirement was rejected by the victims’ families, and this organization would not leave the area even for a single step. On 22 September 2005, the fifth men case was taken into court and the verdict had been fallen. Right now, there are two men taking appeal, those are Bonar Manurung (48 y.o) and SUlaiman Tobing (40 y.o).

The condition was getting hot when on 26 January 2006, the bulldozer of Bakrie Sumtra Plantation, Ltd came to condemn the land and the plant of the Local peasant Organization of “Maju Bersatu”. As a matter of fact, according to the agreement resulted in the office of Bandar Pasir Mandoge Subdistrict, between the peasants and the Bakrie Sumatra Plantations, Ltd there should be a harmony, in other words, they suppose to not disturb one another. This agreement was witnessed by the Commission A of the Asahan Local House on 22 January 2006 between SPSU, particularly the Local Peasant Organization of “Maju Bersatu” and Unit II Bandar Pasir Mandoge, and the Bakrie Sumatra Plantations facilitating by the Asahan Local House, particularly the Commission A in the office of Bandar Pasir Mandoge Subdistrict. In this agreement, there is a further meeting in the Asahan Local House to solve this land dispute at the third week of February. The House also visited the land disputed and the Bakrie Sumatra Plantations’ party could not show the limitation of their concession rights. Until now, the land is guarded by the Brimob members. SPSU through its Presidium, Wagimin, came to the building of the Asahan Local House and reported the situation to the Commission A,i.e. Mr. Amin and Mr. Anas. Unfortunately, there was no response from the Local House members. They were reasoning that they were so busy due to meetings.

Wagimin talked directly to Mr. Anas and appealed the local House members to call the Bakrie Sumatra Plantations to take their bulldozer back from the dispute area. Unfortunately, Mr. Anas just left Wagimin without saying anything.

In fact, Bakrie Sumatra Plantations dared to break the agreement since there is a letter from the lOcal House no 170/321, 27 January 2006, signed by the vice chairman of the Asahan Local House, H. Syamsul Bahri Batubara. This letter permits Bakrie Sumatra Plantations to use the land, while the peasants are banned.

To respond that problem, SPSU conducted a mass action coming from Asahan District and Medan Secretariat with the peasants around ± 200 on 6 February 2006. This action was proposed to sue the existence of the letter dated 27 January 2006. The member of Commission A met did not dare to take any decision without the license from the Heads of the lOcal House and the Commission A. the peasants were waiting for the two “Heads”. The Head of the Local House was not come while the Head of the Commission A was escaping himself. Finally, the Fraction of Social Prosperous Party initiated to make a letter to calm the mass. This meeting also resulted on the agreement that there would be a meeting among the peasants and SPSU and Bakrie Sumatra Plantations facilitating by the Asahan Local House on 17 February 2006.

The worst condition happened on 9 February 2006, when a group of Bakrie Sumatra Plantations’ securities accompanied by the Police Brimob and army repressed and abused 24 mothers struggled in the dispute land. This case had been reported to the Sector Police of Bandar Pasir Mandoge, but until now there is no response on it.

On 17 February 2006, a meeting among the Local Peasant Organization of “Maju Bersatu”, SPSU, and Bakrie Sumatra Plantations facilitating by the Asahan Local House. However, this meeting resulted on nothing since there was a tendency that Anas Fauzi Lubis, the Head of the Commission A of the Asahan Local House leading the meeting at that time reject the peasants’ will and more facilitating the will of Bakrie Sumatra Plantations. The peasants tense were high seeing Anas’s attitude. The meeting was ended with a little chaos.

Now, being facilitated by Federation of Indonesian Peasant Union (FSPI), SPSU conduct an audience with the Republic of Indonesian House and the Headquarter of the Republic of Indonesian Police.

Therefore, SPSU demand:

1. Investigate and form a special committee for the land dispute in Asahan District, particularly with what has happened to the Local Peasant Organization of “Maju Bersatu”, Unit II SPSU Bandar Pasir Mandoge, Asahan. Investigate and form a special committee for the case of peasant detainment by Resort Police Asahan on 23 August 2005, and also for the case of repression done toward the women peasants on 9 January 2006.
2. Arrest, fired, file the case and sentenced the persons from Bakrie Sumatra Plantations, the Regional Police Brimob of North Sumatra, and the army repressing the women peasants on 9 February 2006.
3. Demand the political party to recall their members sitting in the Commission A of the Asahan House, since it will shame their party.
4. Demand Bakrie Sumatra Plantations to step back from the area of land dispute and return all land to the peasants.
5. Demand the Head of the Republic of Indonesian Police to fire the Head of the Resort Police of Asahan and the Sector Police of Bandar PAsir MAndoge who always neglect the peasants’ report.

Upright the Food Sovereignty, WTO Must Out of Agriculture!


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The General Council of WTO in Geneva, 19-20 October 2005 and the World’s Food Day, 16 October 2005

Leaders, members, and other networking of La Via Campesina gathered in Geneva, Swiss to show the struggle against the World Trade Organization and the neoliberal policy of the government having killed millions of peasants, indigenous people, small producer, and fishers. It also damages the live of millions of rural society, the agrarian resources, and the environment which can not be renewed.

Picture: Rally of various elements, particularly peasants all over the world, against the WTO. On the left side: in front of the WTO’s headquarter, Geneva, Swiss, an don the right side: the future location of the WTO’s Ministerial Meeting takes place, hong Kong.
Many protests and critiques toward the WTO have echoed to all over parts of the world, indicated with peasant movements and various elements of people movements in their own field. The rally in front of the WTO’s headquarter in Geneva on 15 October 2005 showed that the solidarity of the peasants all over the world is still strong. It is also indicated with other actions, particularly the people who will be in Hong Kong for preparing the Ministerial Meeting on the following December (Migrant workers, NGOs, and etc). They are feeling threaten by the negotiation of the WTO’s trade liberalization.

On the Zurich meeting a few weeks ago, the WTO reached its momentum for the negotiation of the trade liberalization with the opening of the USA’s initiative. However, all peasants in the world regard that the negotiation is solely a formality, and does not represent any interest of peasants in the world. This thing keeps sending the WTO into corner as the undemocratic multilateral organization.

The WTO’s policy is believed can not change the peasants’ welfare, even until it has been standing for 10 years. “Even the impacts face by the peasants are the subsidy and the government’s protection which is smaller, while the subsistence Indonesian peasants are needed much support from the government,” stated Henry Saragih, the General Secretary of FSPI and the International Coordinator of La Via Campesina.

“The neoliberal policy is also reflected after the coming of WTO with the food import which is forced and damage the domestic market and the price,” he added. The food import itself is a classical problem in Indonesia after the coming of WTO in 1994 and up to now the Indonesia peasants are suffering because of that, noting that 70 % of Indonesian people live in the rural area and mostly are peasants. According to FSPI, it is the food import which is forced by the WTO, so the giant transnational corporations can take the benefit.

Since the year of 1996, Indonesia has become the primary food product importer, such as rice, wheat, sugar, soybean, and corn. The fact is Indonesia imports almost 50 % of the world rice stock. In the decade of the WTO’s birth (1990-1999), Indonesia had import 1,5 million tons of rice per year, an this phenomenon was last up to the year of 2004. For sugar, the number imported was about 1,5 million tons (the second biggest in the world) or 40 % from the national consumption. Afterwards, Indonesia also imported soybean about 1,3 million tons (the biggest in the world) covering 45 % of the national soybean consumption. While the import volume for corn was amounted less than 1 million tons. Moreover, Indonesia keeps continually importing fruits and vegetables, such as apple, orange, pear, potato, onion, and etc.

“The government seems unintelligence to overcome the peasant problems in Indonesia, as a matter of fact, it has explicitly stated in the Basic Agrarian Law the year of 1960 that we have to uphold the genuine agrarian reform to achieve the fair and the prosperous people,” added Henry.

By establishing the genuine agrarian reform, it is expected to be able to repel the WTO’s neoliberal policy and be functioned as the requirement of the upright food sovereignty. This aspect has to be implemented as the main factor in the agriculture policy. “Food sovereignty is the right of people to produce their own food in sustainable way and in accordance with their own culture and tradition. It is also in accordance with the safety of agrarian resources and our own biodiversity,” he added. According to the peasants all over the world, agriculture is more like a way of life than commodity on sale, like it is arranged on the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) of WTO.

The great concern on the agriculture sector is reasonable to the commemoration of World’s Food Day, since the world’s commitment to reduce the poverty and malnourish rates in the year of 2015 depends on this sector. According to FAO in the year 1996, there are 800 millions of 5,67 billions of people in the world suffering from malnourish and poverty. However, today according to the speech of Jacques Diouf, the General Director of FAO, more than 850 million people still suffer from malnourish and poverty. This fact shows that the effort of WTO to liberate the trade, particularly agriculture, does not significant enough to abolish malnourish and poverty.

Therefore, - as well as commemorating the World’s Peasant Day on the last 16 October, FSPI as the peasant representative in Indonesia urges the government to uphold the food sovereignty and the WTO to out of agriculture. “This case is also based on a simple logic, since the condition of Indonesian agriculture pre-WTO was far better than now,” added Henry.

On the occasion of the 6th Ministerial Meeting of WTO in Hong Kong: Ministry Meeting in Zurich, Swiss to the VI M


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The news on the meeting of 14 ministers of the countries member of World Trade Organization (WTO) in Zurich, Swiss, in one side can lull the WTO’s members on a great penetration in the negotiation of the world trade liberalization. However, in other side – side of peasants, labors, and other poor societies – this negotiation is not more than a merely formal meeting.

This negotiation was attended by Pascal Lamy, the General Director of WTO having elected last September. It was also attended by the Head of WTO’s Agriculture Commission Negotiator who is also new, Crawford Falconer. The unsurprising moment was that this negotiation was attended by Rob Portman from the USA’s Trade Commission and Peter Mandelson from the European Union Trade Commission.
This case shows that the WTO has still be the target of certain countries’ interest and the peoples’ opinion about WTO is undemocratic organization more steam up. It is proved with the restricted negotiation such as this Zurich meeting. The more trouble is that from the organization side, WTO does not represent the peasants, the industrial and service workers, etc. is is totally out of the WTO negotiation having big stage on three fields: agriculture (AoA), service (GATS), and industry (NAMA).

This meeting satisfied the supporters of liberal trade, signed with the commitment of the countries to continue the negotiation. Moreover, it was added by the USA’s interest to cut the subsidy for its peasants which welcome by the “big players” in WTO: European Union, G-20 (represented by Brazil and India), Japan, and Canada. The big smile also fainted from the liberal trade supporters for the wide-opened market and the cut import tariff.

However, in reality the agriculture in the world is not as beautiful as it wants by the liberal trade of WTO verse. “The prove is that after 10 years Indonesia ratified the WTO’s agreement on agriculture (AoA), the food import has more hurt the peasants,” said Henry Saragih, the General Secretary of FSPI. “I also state this case in order to stop the food import, particularly the rice in Indonesia, such as planned by Bulog and Department of Commerce. The food importing will damage the price and the domestic market, and at the end it will kill the peasants,” he added.

Henry also added that the Indonesian government recently planned to import rice about 250.000 tons was suspected as the trap of the agreement on AoA. This case happened because the market and the trade have to be opened with the liberal agreement in the AoA of the WTO.


In fact, from the studies done by FSPI and La Via Campesina, the market opening proposed by the WTO in the cutting of the import tariff is so irrational. “Logically it is easy, the cheap food import products will flood the domestic market, there will be no protection toward the peasants’ product since the price mechanism is determined by the market and the domestic food market will be ruin,” said Henry.

The subsidy cutting is also irrelevant in the process of protecting the peasants. Subsidy is the right of every country to protect its agriculture, so the WTO as the trade regime does not entitle to force a country to cut the subsidy for the peasants. “Of course, as long as the subsidy given is not the subsidy distorting the international market, which can lead to dumping,” said Henry.

Thus, from the AoA’s agreement, actually the victims are not only the peasants of the underdeveloped and developing countries, imagine what will happen if the subsidy is cut and the market access is widely opened? Henry also added, “the peasants from the well developed countries itself such as European Union (particularly Dutch, Swiss, Norwegian), Japan, Korea, and the United States of America are now suffering and the number keeps decreasing and they are also replaced by the giant transnational agriculture corporations spanning all over the world.”

The Zurich’s negotiation is also believed to be not much impacted on the negotiation development in the WTO, even to face the VI Ministerial Meeting of the WTO in Hong Kong, on the following December. “There is still a gap between the interest of the United States of America and the European Union, and also Japan, which is disturbed by the involvement of G-20.” In addition, Henry said, “at least it is better for the peasants to have the unachieved agreement than achieve it, but more kill the peasants.”

Basically, the WTO’s negotiation in the agriculture field benefits only the neoliberal giant agriculture corporations. “Therefore, 10 years of the WTO are enough for the peasants and the WTO must out of agriculture since agriculture is not commodity,” he added. Indeed, in Indonesia and many other countries, the agriculture is more like the way of life than the sale commodity.

Rice Imports: the House of Representatives Must Side on Poor People, do not Play-Act anymore!


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JAKARTA – The Senayan Politicians suspected by many people as the representative of the rulers and the corporations, not the people representative, again play-act. At the first, they seem siding on the people, but at the end of the story they will betray. Now, the polemic of rice imports done by the govt. on the command of the President SBY for about 110.000 tons attracts many politicians’ attention at the House of Representatives to ask for polling right immediately.

The improvement of this polling right is very significant. The politicization process of rice imports by the House of Representatives does not just become the capitalization process of rice imports. It means that there will be many parties advantaging this situation to enrich themselves personally. “The politic process in the House of Representatives to withdraw back the rice import policy done by the government is not much expected since there were lots of bad experiences on that. It still fresh in our mind the fuel rising last year, firstly it seemed supporting the people, nevertheless it did stabbed from the back. Let’s see what will happen on this right, ” said Henry Saragih, the General Secretary of FSPI.
It is expected that on the process of the polling right’s use, the House of Representatives can investigate from the background of rice imports, the process, the operational, and the parties involved. Do not let the govt.’s information for this rice import unrevealed for what’s really happening inside it.

The govt. and the State Logistics Agency are not on the side of the peasants.
In this rice import problem, the govt. should better give precedence to the security of rice stock supplying in domestic not from import. “The govt. and the State Logistics Agency prioritize import as an instant policy to meet the domestic rice need. That policy is definitely marginalized the peasants,” said Henry Saragih. Moreover, do not let the rising rice price become solely a govt.’s justification and rumor transferring, he added. This indication is proved with the rising price which nominal is unnatural in some areas. However, that high price is not advantaged directly by most peasants, since the rice has already in the hand of the traders for the peasants have sold all crops. Moreover, it is getting accustomed to happen that the rice price tends to higher both at the end and the beginning of the year. “We are sure that soon the harvest time comes, the unhusked rice in the peasant level will going down back,” said Henry.

Therefore, until now FSPI keeps refusing the rice imports from Vietnam for about 110.000 tons. “FSPI keeps holding on the data of the Agriculture Department saying that the rice supply of Indonesia is actually adequate”, stated Henry. The more strategic step done is the govt. focuses on the agriculture development which has never side on the peasants and the farmhands of 25,4 million families, not just rice imports.

The reasons delivered by the govt. in importing rice are; First it is because the rice price reach for the critical point, i.e. 3500/kg. Second, it is because the supply at the State Logistics Agency is less than 1 million ton of rice. These two reasons that become the basic of rice import policy.

As a matter of fact, we have known that the price reaching for the critical point is a common thing due to the fuel rising reaching for multiply twice since the production costs of the peasants increased from seeds, tractor rent, and transportation. The peasants lost many potential sources which should be some additional points due to the rice mill owned not by the peasants, starting from husk, grains of rice, and mixture of rice and bran.

In addition, the economic interest in the rice trade is very long. It has to be cut so the consumers and the peasants enjoy the advantage. It is the responsible and the role of the govt. to protect the peasants and the poor consumers.

Afterwards, on the rice supply, the Minister of Agriculture as the operational chairman of Food Security Body had convinced the President as the Chairman of the Food Security Body several times that the national rice supply is surplus for more than 2.1 million tons.

Remember that the first stage policy of rice imports December 2005 ago was set after the Vice President, the Minister of Trade and the Minister of Cooperation and Public Welfare held a coordination meeting on 22 October 2005 without involving the Minister of Agriculture, who has more or less data information about rice. The role of the State Logistics Agency to buy the peasants’ rice did not do maximally as well. It is clear that the reason is solely profit and loss calculation since we have already known that the State Logistics Agency has become a public corporation meaning it has been a profit-oriented institution.

This can be seen from the time given to buy the peasants’ rice is very short that is only 12 days, the State Logistics Agency concentrates only in Java Island, whereas in the South Sulawesi and South Kalimantan the rice supply is still a lot. The State Logistics Agency also gives the heavy terms and conditions intentionally.

According to the Minister of Trade, the entrance way of rice imports is the minus areas. On contrary, the Belawan Harbour (North Sumatra) also becomes the rice entrance. As a matter of fact, according to the Public Relations of the State Logistics Agency I Regional of North Sumatra, Haris Fadillah Lubis, they have 31.200 tons of rice supply per 16 January 2005. This supply will be able to fill the rice need until the next 4 months (Bisnis Indonesia, 19 January 2006).

“We see that besides the President, the Minister of Trade and the State Logistics Agency (as the food (rice) support institution) are unable to run its function”, said Henry. “I think the function of the State Logistic has to be reevaluated, both function and role and the barn management as well, perhaps the State Logistics Agency is not needed anymore for the peasants”. In addition, the President as the Chairman of the Food Security Body has to maximize his roles and duties. To the Indonesian people, the rice problem is not only an economic case, but also it relates to the people’s social-culture. It is an ironic, if the agrarian country has to depend its food in the International market. There is no country, whose government having big population hands over its food affairs to the market.

For the increasing price, a number of parties suspect that there might be a game inside it, since there is only a little peasant enjoying the rising price. The peasants mostly sell in the form of unhusked rice not rice. The rice has mostly been in the hand of the traders. “Therefore, the politic of opposing the poor consumers against the poor peasants is the act of oppressing the poor people in Indonesia,” he said.

Further contact:
Henry Saragih (General Secretary of FSPI): 08163144441,
Achmad Ya’kub (Deputy of Campaign and Policy Study): 0817712347

Attachment:
DATA FROM VARIOUS SOURCES

Areas starting to harvest per 15 January 2006 are estimated to have great harvest around 20 days.
1. Bantul District, 1 Sub District (Serandakan Sub District) of 17 Sub Districts. The large is 1.430 ha of the total farmland in Bantul, i.e. 10.000 ha
2. Sleman District, Gamping, Godean, Moyudan and Minggir Sub Districts, the total is total 4.000 ha
3. the estimation of great harvest in Yogyakarta is January- April 2006 reaching out 379. 266 tons
4. West Java is estimated to increase this year up to 9,34 tons of unhusked rice from the former.
5. Karawang will keep harvesting from South to North (Cikampek Sub District, Cengkok Village, Klari with the capacity of 5 tons of unhusked rice/ha.



The Increasing Production Cost
1. The urea-based fertilizers of PUSRI reaches up to Rp. 70.000/sack (50 kg) or increase 11-16%
2. Tractor rent from Rp. 40.000/day becomes Rp. 75.000/day or increase 90%, while according to the Department of Agriculture, it increases only 25%. In Cirebon, the tractor rent increases from Rp. 400.000/ha becomes Rp. 600.000/ha
3. The farmhand wage is increasing, commonly it is Rp. 20.000-Rp. 25.000/day become Rp. 30.000-more or increase about 21%,
4. The milling machine rent is higher about 15%

Supply
The rice coming into Cipinang averagely is 2.600 tons/day in this week

To where the rice import will come?

Name of Harbour Total/Ton
Belawan 24.600
Dumai 7.000
Bitung 16.800
Balik papan 6.750
Ambon 6.000
Sorong 11.000
Jayapura 6.000
Kupang 19.850
Lhokseumawe 12.000
TOTAL 110.000 tons

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