INDRAMAYU DISTRICT—Around one thousand local farmer households in Indramayu conducted a consultation with the local government on March 1, 2017 to convey the issues that are affecting their livelihood.
During the consultation, which coincided with the anniversary of the Indramayu Farmer Union in Sukaslamet Village, Kroya sub-district, Indramayu, the farmers expressed that they are having difficulties adjusting the cropping pattern because of climate change. According to them, during the rainy season, there is flooding, whereas in the dry season, they do not have a water source, thus they suffer from losses. The farmers communicated to the Indramayu government their pleas to protect small rice producers by implementing the laws on farmer protection and empowerment, as well as their suggestions on how to improve their situation.
“Government should develop a good irrigation system from upstream to downstream, provide price protection of rice, ensure the protection of farmers due to crop failure, and resolve land conflict among the members of Indramayu Farmer Union (STI) to improve land access,” Rojak, head of STI, suggested.
API’s Secretary General Muhammad Nur Uddin, who attend the event along with Indramayu District Regent Hj Ana Sophana and local and national networks, agreed on the importance of empowering small farmers and strengthening farmers organizations to increase the welfare of the smallholder farmers and to oversee government policy.
“Currently, there are national policies that protect the small farmer, but the implementation is weak in the local level. These policies should be encouraged in the local level” says Nur Uddin.
Meanwhile, Indramayu District Regent Hj. Ana Shopana promised to increase farmers protection and empowerment, and asked the Indramayu’s Farmer Union’s cooperation for the realization of the plan.
Of the 26 districts in West Java, Indramayu is the biggest source of rice—yielding around 10% of the total rice production. Indramayu supplies most of the rice and other food needs of Jakarta and neighboring places. Because of its contribution, Indramayu is considered as one of the national rice barns in the Indonesia. (Rifai, API)