Hitambara Peasant Organization Established Credit Union

Benni Wijaya

Banjarnegara (kpa.or.id) – Himpunan Masyarakat Tani Banjarnegara (Hitambara/Association of Banjarnegara Peasant Communities) has taken their step toward Desa Maju Reforma Agraria (DAMARA/Agrarian Reform Advanced Village). This marked with the establishment of Hitambara Credit Union on March 1st 2019.

The establishment itself was proposed together with Consortium for Agrarian Reform (KPA), starting with the cooperative training for three days on February 27th until March 1st 2019 in Punggelan Village, Banjarnegara Sub-District of Central Java Province. The Punggelan Village itself is one of the 462 Lokasi Prioritas Reforma Agraria (LPRA/Agrarian Reform Priority Locations) that has been proposed to the government.

In that 3 days training, the organization members were hosted by Rudi Casrudi from KPA Department of Organizational Strengthening; Purwanto, KPA Central Java Regional Coordinator & Jaka Wadira from CU Pawartaku. In this opportunity, the organization members were emphasized on the significance of organizational strengthening role, among it is the existence of financial institution or cooperative within agrarian reform movement.

CU Pawartaku itself is a financial institution in one of the local peasant organization from East Java called Paguyuban Petani Aryo Blitar (PPAB/Circle of Aryo Blitar Peasants) with the purpose of establishing members’ independence in the production-distribution funding. Currently, CU Pawartaku is able to manage the turnover of 3 Billion Rupiahs.

Credit Union and Economic Independence

Credit Union movement on the base level is an effort to increase the organizational members’ standard of living through a more independent economic building based on mutual cooperation. In its implementation, CU exists and directly controlled by its parent organization.

In his presentation, Jaka explained that CU literally is a credit union with the purpose of mutual assistance, increasing the member’s standard of living, establishing cooperation by providing aid in the form of loan to the members.

“CU is an assimilation of cooperatives and banks.” Jaka explained.

“To implement it, requires not only good management but also the capability of each operator in simple cash bookkeeping”, Jaka added. 

Rudi explained, the important point in the establishment of a Credit Union is cooperation, and the principle of CU is an initiative that exists directly under the organization. So this CU must be controlled directly by Hitambara’s officials.

“If established, the relationship between the organization with its CU must be made clear. Members of the organization are the main priority that must be served so that it could make the relationship between the organization and its CU to complement each other in the effort to develop the peasants movement”, Rudi continues.

In the second day, the participants were asked to simulate the study material in the first day, which are bookkeeping and records on credits, interests, mechanism for loans and its disbursement. The organization members are advised to create a saving & loans program

“Along with its development, CU could be expanded with more programs following the will of its members. We could try it first in just among the members of organization,” informed Jaka.

“If there any difficulties, CU Pawartaku are ready to assist in accompaniment and discussion with the members” He added.

He also offered an internship program for several periods in CU Pawartaku for those interested in increasing their capacity.

CU Pawartaku currently have organized various programs in the effort to support the works of its members including: 1) Banking in the form of loans for education, pension/retirement funds, religious activities, vehicles, housing, lands, deposits, weddings, childbirths and daily needs; 2) Health & life insurance until aid for childbirths; and 3) Cooperatives in the form of mandatory & principal savings.  

Road toward Agrarian Reform Advanced Village

Agrarian reform movements in its broader meaning spoke not only about peasant movements in reclaiming their lands. However, the purpose of agrarian reform movements in the bigger narration are to establish peasant’s sovereignty over their own land (red: village) and economic foundation independently and cooperatively. This situation is expected to affect socio-economically and even politically.

Politically, village is an authoritative organization that’s supposed to be able to manage their own power. So it is realized that, the force of agrarian reform movement should be based on territorial or rural movements. KPA since several years ago have built an initiative with what we referred to as Desa Maju Reforma Agraria (DAMARA/Agrarian Reform Advanced Village).

DAMARA is an assimilation of agrarian reform and rural development with the objectives of: First, the changing of ownership, usage/utilization, production, distribution and consumption systems of the peasants or peasant households on agrarian resources in the rural/village level; and second, the increasing of control, access & production management by the peasants and their rural community on agrarian resources and their villages, also more guaranteed sustainability of peasants life.    

DAMARA possesses various phases  consisted of Conflict Resolution (Ownership System), Participatory Regional Mapping (Land Use), Structuring of Economic System (Governance) and Establishing of Production & Distribution Bases (Production & Distribution System). The training and establishment of CU itself is part of governance or economic system structuring for the peasants.

What we expected from the creation of DAMARA is the rural transformation based on agrarian reform movement.

Hitambara Peasants is one of the peasant movements that currently are going toward that transformation. Currently they are cultivating the plantation formerly belonged to PT Pakisadji Banjumas. In the past, that land was cultivated and reclaimed by their ancestors before finally submitted to businessman with Chinese heritage called Tiyambi.

The organization members returned to cultivate that land after abandoned by the government before the expiration of their permit. Currently, the organization members keeps working on the state recognition of their lands through the program of 4,5 Ha land redistribution that has been instructed by the government.

While working on that land rights, the organization members along with KPA has organized the inter-organization empowering. One of it is organizing participatory mapping in order to measure and fairly distributed the cultivated land width of each peasants, providing lands for public & official facility.  

“Currently the members of peasant organizations keep preparing themselves by increasing the capacity of each member. One of the purposes of this Credit Union training for organizational strengthening. So the peasants can prepare themselves for the better future if the redistribution of that land is actualized,” said Rudi.

“Now, what’s left is for the Country to implement the agrarian reform program that they’ve promised,” Rudi concluded. (BW)

Other News


National Secretariat KPA:

Jl. Pancoran Indah I Blok E3 No.1
Komplek Liga Mas Indah, Pancoran
Jakarta Selatan 12760, Indonesia
Telp: +62 21 7984540 Fax: +62 21 7993934