Presidential Regulation on Agrarian Reform Requires the People’s Pressure and Government’s Political Will

Aldo Ramadhan


Blitar ( – Paguyuban Petani Kelud Makmur (PPKM/Circle of Kelud Makmur Peasants) is one of the peasant base of Paguyuban Petani Aryo Blitar (PPAB/Circle of Aryo Blitar Peasants) celebrate their 6th anniversary and organized the election of their new organization’s officials on Thursday (14/3/2019) in Gadungan Village, Gandusari Sub-district, Blitar Regency of East Java Province.

The result of their discussion decided on the appointment of Pitoyo as the new leader of PPKM to replace the previous leader Sulistyanto. There are four sectors that will support the future works of the organization, among it are advocacy, organizational membership, education also independent economy & collective management.

Furthermore, in the same opportunity the organization members also organized the discussion on the Presidential Regulation No. 86/2018 on Agrarian Reform and consolidation of Lokasi Prioritas Reforma Agraria (LPRA/Priority Locations for Agrarian Reform)  along with the Secretary General of Consortium for Agrarian Reform, Dewi Kartika; KPA East Java Regional Coordinator, Mohammad Izzuddin; Secretary General of PPAB, Jaka Wadira; Head of Blitar Office on Land Issues and other village officials.

The issuing of Presidential Regulation on Agrarian Reform have become the momentum for peasants movements to actualize agrarian reform. Although imperfect, at least the present of that regulation is an opportunity for the empowerment and expanding of agrarian reform movement on the base level.

Of course, this must also be accompanied by strong initiative from the bottom level (red: peasant unions) and the political will of the government itself. This was conveyed by the Secretary General of Consortium for Agrarian Reform in that discussion off the Presidential Regulation on Agrarian Reform.

"Substantially and purposefully the Presidential Regulation No 86/2018 on Agrian Reform (Perpres RA) could strengthen the position of sharecroppers, but this regulation which tend to take sides often not accompanied by the political will of the decision makers,” Dewi said.

Dewi expressed that this regulation also mandated that the agrarian reform institution from the national level to the regency/city level must involves the full participation of the peasants & civil society in order to ensure that its implementations are right on targets.

Meanwhile, KPA East Java Regional Coordinator, Mohammad Izzuddin stated that one of the objects regulated in that Perpres RA is the expired Rights to Cultivate (HGU/Hak Guna Usaha) permit belonging to the companies.

“Meaning that there is no other choice for the related government institutions if they don’t implement agrarian reform through the land redistribution process for the peasants,” Izzuddin affirmed. 

In his speech, Izzuddin also elaborated on the LPRA advocacy in East Java, “There are 37 spots proposed to the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs & Spatial Planning/National Land Agency (ATR/BPN) since 2017, but the process for conflicts resolution in East Java are still relatively sluggish,” He said. 

PPKM itself was established on 2013 by the people in 2 villages, which are Gadungan Village and Sumberagung Village. The forming of this organization is an effort to defend their land rights on the lands that they’ve fully reclaimed and cultivated since 2009

That cultivated lands are the lands formerly owned by PT Kruwuk Rotorejo though their HGU permit that has already expired on 2009. Although has been fully controlled, the company still tried to claim that lands and keep intimidating the cultivators such as the criminalization to one of the sharecroppers on 2017 under the accusation of illegal trespassing and cultivating on the lands.

Currently, that conflicted cultivated lands of 115 Ha has been proposed its resolution through LPRA. But the Ministry of ATR/BPN hasn’t yet responded on that proposal.

A day before, KPA Secretary General also visited the Paguyuban Warga Tani Kulonbambang (Pawartaku/Circle of Kulonbambang Peasants Residents), other PPAB peasants base located in Kulonbambang Village, Doko Sub-district of Blitar Regency. That visit is to examine the development of Desa Maju Reforma Agraria (DAMARA/Agrarian Reform Advanced Village) program. Kulonbambang Village is the recipients for land redistribution of 280 Ha on 2012.   

Post-redistribution, Pawartaku along with its members keeps empowering and innovating in order to support the productivity of rural agriculture.

One of their efforts is in establishing the savings & loan cooperative in the form of Credit Union (CU) to support the peasants’ production capital and preventing the organization members to fall under the bank schemed that doesn’t support the peasants.

In structuring the agricultural productions, the organization members developed an animal husbandry for lamb species of Ettawa to remove the dependence on chemical fertilizer. The organization members also cultivate ginger plants on each of their yards.

One of other innovative steps done by the organization is building Hydro-Electric Micro Power Plant (PLTM/Pembangkit Listrik Mikro Hidro) which provides electricity for the people also sold to the State Electricity Company (PLN/Perusahaan Listrik Negara).

“The access structuring in an effort to implement agrarian reform must really be ensured continously in order to increase the peasants prosperity,” said Dewi in front of dozens peasants. (AR)

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