InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA -To develop and increase the agricultural commodity, some countries, including the superpower country, United States of America (USA), provides the areas as wide as it could so that the people could cultivate. For example, in USA in 1862, there had been policy called Homestead Act. In the period, the government supported that one family could have 65 hectares for agriculture. The program took the country as the main soybean and corn exporter in the world.
Besides USA, Brazil also implemented the same thing through Land Act which was officially launched in 1998, precisely in Mato Grosso to be the location of soybean planting in the state. The Act had taken the country as the highest vegetable fuel user in the world. Brazil does not not depend on the source of crude oil anymore.
In Southeast Asia, Malaysia did the same thing through the policy of Agriculture and Plantation Enlargement which Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) managed in 1956. Within the concept of empowering the people by giving 4 hectares per family to be turned into palm oil areas. The people got the modal and should return it for the next 20 years.
Now FELDA has become the big corporate by cultivating the areas reaching 811.140 hectares. It started in Peninsular, but now it expands to Sarawak, and Sabah in Eastern Malaysia. FELDA even expands its business in Indonesia.
Indonesia should actually implement the same policy. For example, through the Nucleus Estate Smallholder (NES) program or Perusahaan Inti Rakyat Perkebunan (PIR-Bun),which is adopted to develop the plantation sector.
Ever since the NES program which the government designed in 1974/1975 and firstly introduced in the project, called, NES/PIRBUN in Alue Merah (North Aceh) and Tabalong (South Sumatera) in 1977/1978, the concept developed fast.
ctually the main goal of partnership is to increase the smallholders’s welfare and their family by increasing the production and the income of the business. In this concept, the private and the government plantations are as the main ones, and the people’s plantations are as the plasma or participants.
The concept ofPIR-Bun also evoluted to be PIR-Trans, as it was regulated in the Presidential Instruction No. 1 / 1986 about the plantation development within PIR which was attached to the transmigration program. Then the concept turned to be Kredit Koperasi Primer untuk Anggota (KKPA), and the last was the Plantation Revitalization program in 2006 but it stopped in 2014.
Though there is no program anymore which the government proposed, in the field, the stakeholders keep making partnership with the people, such as what one national palm oil plantation company, BGA Group does in Ketapang. It is interesting that the smallholders are taken to be partners for during eight years, the smallholders had no regular income for the main company went to bankrupt. How is the partnership rebuilt? To get clearer, dear readers could read it in Focus, InfoSAWIT, August 2017.(T2)