Land Reform

Apr 20th, 2007, in Business & Economy, by

Land ownership in Indonesia is grossly unbalanced.

Dr Ir Joyo Winoto of the National Land Board, Badan Pertanahan Nasional (BPN), says that 56% of the land and property wealth in Indonesia is owned by 1% of the population. Due to the fact that wealth creates more wealth this uneven proportion would increase over time, he said. suaramerdeka

Winoto said his agency, the BPN, had a great responsibility to redress the gross imbalance in land wealth distribution, partly because it was a contributor to poverty.

39 million Indonesians live below the poverty line, he said, with 60% of these people living in underdeveloped villages and 56% of them working in the farming sector.

These people don’t have capital, or equipment, or land.

Winoto said the BPN was working on a land reform program, to be put into practice in a short time.

There must be social justice for all people.

7 Comments on “Land Reform”

  1. Sputjam says:

    There is plenty of land in Indonesia.
    Why don’t the government allocate, say one hectare per landless Indonesian.
    There will be conditions imposed, such as not able to sell land and upon demise, land goes back to government, or family members.
    Or to those who are industrious, perhaps five hectares for agricultural purpose, with similar conditions attached. Expensive crops should be encouraged, such as frankescence (hope spelling correct – it gives of a nice smell for perfumary) and maybe delima for its viagra like effects (so I was told).

    Or even better, as carbon dioxide emmitters are taxed in EU countries, these tax money could be channeled to landless indonsian by giving them a salary to maintain say 10 hectares of jungle (much like park rangers) per family.

    Unfortunately, the authorities in Indonesia are more interested in leasing land to plantation companies for 60 years. Most popular plantation areas are kalimantan, followed by sumatra. major investros are malaysian based plantation companies, which are already some of the world’s largest in oil and fats manufacturing. Other areas of interest are papua and irian jaya. they work hand in hand with their timber companies to maximise potential of any given area.

  2. Andrew says:

    I wonder what kind of brilliant ideas they are going to come up with this time.

    What happened to “transmigrasi”? isn’t that a very good way to give people plot of land they can own and work on, and at the same time develop remote areas?
    Of course it doesn’t happen overnight, and yes, it definitely has its own share of issues, and true, it is hard to live far away from civilization, but isn’t that what we have to go through to become a developed country?

    I do know there are a lot of foreigners (note: NOT foreign corporations) who are more than willing to develop Indonesia’s remote area. It is ironic that very few Indonesians can match that. Looks like most people are too sissy (or lazy?) to work hard labor anymore – all they want is instant gratification. Unfortunately, no pain, no gain.

  3. Bas says:

    I agree with you Andrew. All that most Indonesians want is getting rich quickly with no efforts.

  4. Sputjam says:

    Indonesian aren’t lazy. Go across the straights of malacca and see for yourself. They control the labourers market in malaysia, such as construction, large plantation coolies and are muscling into small busniesses (and if thuggery could be included, they dominate this as well.)

    What people of the malay stock do not have is business acumen. Give them land, and they will scratch their heads on what to do with it. Most will probably sell for quick profits.

    Malaysia introduced a scheme called Felda, whereby farmers collectively owned a large tract of land, whereby the government will advise on type of crops plus give free expertise, plus working capital.

    The farmers will own a small plot for their houses and a share in the plantation. The result, collectively, these small farmers shareholders in the largest palm oil corporation in the world. There were plans to list the unit on the KL stock exchange, but this has not been finalised.

    A similar scheme could be introduced in Indonesia, with those working as labourers in malaysian plantation as pioneers. Of course these schemes should not focus on palm oil alone. They could introduce even more lucrative cash crops, because thanks to china, every commodity prices are ballooning.

  5. Dymal says:

    I do believe that most of farmers are not lazy, they just frustated.

    There were time when “jeruk pontianak” was booming, it was so lucrative so one of Suharto family member was attracted and “regulated”, and just a little time after its all gone for sure. Same story for cloves farmers, famous Tommy Suharto destroyed their live almost overnight.

    On the other hand, I dont believe that an interesting scheme for farmers like Felda in Malaysia will be adopted in Indonesia.

    If it is interesting, others will take it, not farmers, we can imagine group of retired army men, or high ranking goverment officials, or some religious group in exchange to their political support etc.

    Real farmers, they are the last on a long waiting list.

  6. Marie Antoinette says:

    Land ownership alone is no guarantee of a livelihood; the BPN program and “transmigration” should be coupled with efforts to improve education and market access for small farmers.

  7. Dragonwall says:

    I personally think the BPN lacks integrity by saying statistics as showing only 39 million are living below poverty.

    Common sense will tell you the figure far exceed that figures.

    Once the land are distributed, there are bound to have these sharks coming around trying to get hold of their land in exchange land lease for money.

    The government should loan these lands to the peasants or poor. It shall become mandatory that transfer be made impossible by coding the land.

    Land should be marked green, yellow or red to indicate their purpose for use like land development and agriculture to create an ambient environment unlike in Taiwan that is all cramped up.

    And since the government were incapable of developing themselves, and people who were granted these lands are free to work with people who wish to have their land cultivated into farming, agriculture, developers and etc. This way it gives investor an opportunity to invest in whatever sectore they like without any restrictions from the government. By having their land developed by investors they will receive certain amount of shares and profit sharing without paying out a single cents. No loans shall be allowed for such an investment. Those granted lands will be held responsible for paying for land use. This will gradually close the rich and poor gap in the course of duty.

    Investors will be happier not having to be tied to a Turnkey or BOT restrictions tied around their neck. No religious sector must be involved or given authority to supercede such development. All pungli kind of craps should be eliminated. Anyone who asked for such pungli shall be reported to commercial Crime Department for follow up in action. This way it will eliminate premanism and mob overseeing these developments. No Yayasan shall be entitled to any of these benefits or proceeds these poor people receive from their shareholding.

    In fact this pratice was implemented long ago except it was not put into action in proper manner and guidance where a set rules and regulations were drawn into the development.

    The transmigrasi was one good example inplemented by Soeharto but was wrongly implemented by the Madurese without governmental guidance in Kalimantan. The Javanese in Sumatra. In the end robing of one other’s land became a prominent cause and Kalimantan was smothered with premanisme with the Madurese controlling the bus station, loading and unloading in Pontianak. Which was also the main cause when Sanggau Ledo was turned into a killing fields.

    Surrounding Jakarta seemed to have abundant of land being place for some business groups for their development. If Malaysia could implement the NEP why not Indonesia.

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