Indonesian Peasants’ Rights Day

Indonesian Peasants’ Rights Day [1]

Peasant Rights: Implementation Basic of Indonesian Agrarian Reform and Food Sovereignty[2]

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The effort to fulfil Peasant Rights in Indonesia is accelerated with the legality of the Act No. 19 of 2013 on the Protection and Empowerment of Farmers (UU Perlintan). It is welcome, and it went more advanced through the decision of the Constitutional Court-especially those in the issue of land rights for peasants; as well as the topic of farmers’ institutions.

The struggle for the promotion and defense of Peasants’ Rights is also done through the mechanism of universal human rights in the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations (UN) that will probably in the near future-will give birth to the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Peasants and Rural Communities.

“Although the legal instrument on Peasant Rights has been available, but the policies related to agriculture, rural, agriculture and food, have not been full implemented,” said Henry Saragih of Indonesian Peasants Union (SPI). “It is the fact thatpeasants and peasants’ organizations have not been involved in the implementation of agrarian reform-through redistribution of agricultural land. It is also the same as the implementation of food sovereignty program, such as the village with sovereignty of seeds and organic village. ”

In line with this, the role of farmers’ institution established by peasantssuch as Farmer-Owned/Farmers-Led Enterprises (BUMP) in food sovereignty chain (production, distribution, and consumption of food reserves) are still very weak. Not surprisingly, in addressing the volatility in food prices-which allegedly played by food speculators -government still depends on the market: food import policy is still a short-term solution.

Muhammad Nuruddin, the Secretary General of the Indonesian Peasant Alliance (API) suggests, “JokoWidodo’s Government needs to formulate technical measures and support, thoughts and actions together with peasants’ organizations”.

“Support of thought of the peasant organizations is implemented through this Deliberation (Musyawarah) or Conference of Peasants. This is corresponding to the mandate of the Law of Sustainable Food Agricultural Land Protection,”continued AgusdinPulungan of Indonesian Forum for Farmers and Fisherfolks (WAMTI).

“Therefore, we, the four peasants’ organizations who are members of Consultative Council of Indonesian Peasants- in short is BAMUSTANI [3] –conducted the Deliberation of Peasants. The goal is to work and encourage the government to accelerate the resolution of land conflicts and realize the redistribution of land to peasants,”saidKustiwaAdinata of Indonesian Integrated Pest Management Farmers Association(IPPHTI).

BAMUSTANI’s mission is jointly realize genuine agrarian reform and food sovereignty-two ideals peasantry which has been mandated in NawaCita and the National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2015-2019. If the rights of peasants as the basis for the protection and empowerment of farmers is implemented wholeheartedly, then agrarian reform and food sovereignty can be achieved.

In commemoration of Indonesian Peasant Rights 2016, BAMUSTANI as Indonesia peasants struggle front held the Deliberation of Peasants at GedungJuang, Jakarta on April 21, 2016.

This event will strengthen the government’s policy discussion in one day with peasants, rights defenders, agriculture and rural experts and proponents of food sovereignty. The themes will be the matrix of the protection and fulfillment of human rights of peasants are as follows:

  1. Protection of rural areas and agricultural land as well as land redistribution to peasants;
  2. Independence on seed through the protection of plant breeders peasants;
  3. Strengthening the institutional role of peasants and Farmer-Owned Enterprises (BUMP) – Peasants’ Cooperative; and
  4. Chain of Food Sovereignty (production, distribution, food reserves, and consumption).

Through the activities of the Council of Peasants, peasants will continue to be consistent in fighting for the protection and fulfillment of human rights of theirs.

Note:
[1] Fifteen years ago, on April 18 to 20, 2001, farmers’ organizations and civil society organized a National Conference on Agrarian Reform and the Protection and the Fulfillment on Peasants’ Rights in Cibubur. This conference gave birth to the Declaration of Peasant Rights. The conference also set 20 April as the Day of Peasant Rights Indonesia. Since then this theme of “peasants’ rights” became one of the central themes of the demands of peasants in the country.
[2] Media advisory was made in order to meet the commemoration of Indonesian Peasant Rights 2016
[3] BAMUSTANI consists of a peasants’ organization who continue to fight for agrarian reform and food sovereignty since it was established: Indonesian Peasants’ Union (SPI), Indonesian Peasant Alliance (API), Indonesian Forum for Farmers and Fisherfolks (WAMTI) and Indonesian Integrated Pest Management Farmers Association (IPPHTI).

Contact Persons:
Henry Saragih – SPI(0811 655 668; hsaragih@spi.or.id)
M. Nuruddin – API (0813 3434 4808; bir_syaiba@yahoo.com)
Agusdin Pulungan – WAMTI (0812 9184 101; agusdinpulungan@gmail.com)
Kustiwa Adinata – IPPHTI (0812 2398 953; kustiwa.adinata@gmail.com)

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