JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The five-year period of Joko Widodo – Jusuf Kalla’ leadership was almost over. Since the beginning, the leaders has made agrarian reform and social forestry one of the priority agendas. He promised to distribute nine million hectares of land and community managed forests through social forestry of around 12.7 million hectares until 2019.
So far, various policies are made. On Sept. 24, 2018, right on Farmers’ Day, the Presidential Regulation Number 86 Year 2018 was published on Agrarian Reform. In fact this paradigm of agrarian reform is too narrowly understood.
Widodo claimed the success of the agrarian reform by distributing land certificates or asset legislation, similar to the national agrarian operations project program in the Soeharto era.
According to data from the Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial Planning, in 2018, Widodo has certified 3.9 million hectares of land. This number is less than in 2017 of 5.4 million hectares.
This legalization that is often heralded by the government as a form of partiality towards the people. In fact, this program is only a routine certification of the MASP on land owned by the community.
Therefore, the distribution of certificates is not the main agenda of agrarian reform. The most basic orientation of agrarian reform is reforming the unequal structure, especially in terms of ownership and control of natural resources.
All aspects, starting from land, water to air, must be reorganized in accordance with the spirit of independence of this nation. From the beginning, Soekarno – Mohammad Hatta agreed that the monopoly on the source of people’ welfare was not permitted because it was a practice of colonialism.
According to the records of the Konsorsium Pembaharuan Agraria (KPA), more than 70 percent of productive national assets, mostly in the form of land, are only controlled by 0.02 percent of the population. Of the 13.5 million hectares of oil palm plantations, 65 percent are controlled by plantation companies, including state companies.
In forestry, there are 531 forest management permits with a land area of 35.8 million hectares for forestry companies. There are only 57 permits for community forests, village forests and community forests with 0.32 million hectares of land.
In addition, poverty reduction, opening employment opportunities, maintaining economic resources, reducing disputes, improving quality of life, and increasing food security are other important orientations of agrarian reform. If contextualized on Widodo-Kalla’ agrarian reform, the variety of orientations evaporates, because the redistribution of nine million hectares has not been indicated to lead to the realization of various orientations.
The organization noted, during 2014 to 2018, not much land has been redistributed to the people. For example, the target of 0.4 million hectares of land redistribution on abandoned land and new business rights is reached 188,295 hectares. Whereas the redistribution of land from new forest releases is targeted at 4.1 million hectares, but not one hectare is reached.
The data showed is contrary to the government’ claim that states that agrarian reform has reached 9.4 million parcels of land and two million hectares of social forestry. This data was released by the Presidential Staff Office to coincide with the four-year Widodo administration in October 2018.
Meanwhile, in the field conflicts between citizens and companies and the government still occur. There are still many indigenous people who are in trouble because their customary territories enter company concessions or conflict with the state because they live in protected or conservation forests.
Sajogjo Institute, Indonesian Center for Agrarian Studies and Documentation reports that the resolution of the agrarian conflict in Widodo’ time is still far from expectations. There are 2,368 agrarian conflicts and only 480 cases that were completed in 2018.
In the infrastructure sector, government projects are often the trigger. For example in Sukamulya, West Java, in November 2017. The agricultural land there was seized for the construction of the West Java International Airport.
Residents were shot at by tear gas by police. Seven farmers were arrested. Dozens of injuries. Something similar happened in Kulonprogo, Yogyakarta, and other places.
Various agrarian problems that still plague many sectors have also escaped the attention of Widodo, so that the program of redistribution of nine million hectares seems to turn a blind eye to thousands of conflicts, high rent practices to weak enforcement of agrarian law.
In fact, all of these issues are interconnected and must be a package with the land redistribution process. Without this, Widodo’ steps cannot be classified as directed towards agrarian reform.
Even though in the midst of the complexity of the agrarian problem in Indonesia, the government is challenged to be able to solve the problem. Just look, in KPA’ records, every day, more than 353 hectares of agricultural land are turned into non-agriculture.
Not to mention the surrender of ex-cultivation rights land on oil palm plantations that continues to occur. As a result, the gap rate is increasing, there is a significant decline in the number of farmers and the rate of urbanization and migrant workers continues to rise.
On the other hand, various obstacles still haunt the government to implement agrarian reform. First, the lack of political capacity of ministers in Widodo’ work cabinet.
Political capacity refers to a track record of alignments with the agrarian reform movement. So, even though Widodo has political will, but without political capacity in the ranks of ministers and bureaucracy, then agrarian reform is difficult to realize.
Secondly, the unpopularity of the issue of agrarian reform in higher education institutions has caused the lack of scientific studies and experts in agrarian reform in Indonesia. Third, land data in Indonesia has not been integrated, especially data from the Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial Planning, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Forestry.
Now the Widodo-Kalla government is almost over, hopefully the government that will be elected in the April 17 will be able to realize the true agrarian reform. That ensures a comprehensive, not partial reform of the agrarian structure.
Which is the main basis for national industrial development so that it can become a way for all the problems of the Indonesian people in an economic, political and cultural way.
Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org