Category Archives: Country: Indonesia

API sets up relief center in Jakarta, seeks support for flood victims

The office of Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API) is in evacuation mode after the heavy flooding caused by unusually strong monsoon rains in Jakarta last week. API’s office is located at the banks of Ciliwung River, one of Jakarta’s thirteen rivers. They have moved their office equipment and documents to the second floor after flood waters rose last January 16. Around 18,000 people have been evacuated and 11 have died due to the floods. In API’s area, there are around 300 households that were affected.

In response to the flooding, API, together with other people’s organizations in Jakarta, has set up a relief center to help the people affected by the floods. API’s staff will be working in these relief centers in the next two weeks. They are accepting donations in cash or kind. Direly needed are basic aid supplies, such as, ready to eat food such as bread and instant noodles, drinking water, rice, milk and diapers for infants, sanitary napkins for women, soaps, blankets, clothes, etc.

The city is flooded every year during the monsoon season. In 2007, it experienced one of the worst flooding in recent years. Experts have since then warned that flooding would be a more frequent occurrence in Jakarta. This year’s flooding is expected to surpass that of 2007, and more rains are expected in the coming days.

Partners who wish to send their support to API and the affected communities in Jakarta may get in touch with Ms. Ika Krishnayanti through e-mail address ikank@yahoo.com and mobile numbers 62-08128387971, 62-085888351668

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(With report and photos from Ika Krishnayanti)

Video: Farmers’ Voices on Agricultural Land Investments

This video presents the experiences of small scale women and men farmers, fishers, and indigenous peoples with agricultural land investments and their impact on their lives and livelihoods.

Six cases are featured – three in Cambodia and three in the Philippines.

The video is one of the knowledge products that came out of the project “Expanding the Dialogue on Large-Scale Land Acquisition and their Alternatives” implemented by the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA) with the support of the International Land Coalition (ILC) in 2011-2012.

Total running time: 12 minutes

Various activities, important decisions mark AFA’s 5th general assembly

The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) held various activities and decided on important matters on its recently concluded 5th general assembly, which was also a celebration of its 10th anniversary.

Vietnam Farmers Union (VNFU) hosted the event in Hanoi, Vietnam last March 9, 2012 back-to-back with regional farmers’ consultations on March 7-8 and a CSO consultation on the 31st FAO APRC that AFA attended on March 10-11.

The series of events officially opened on March 7 with a cultural presentation from a Vietnamese folk group, who also performed traditional songs and dances with participants from different Asian countries, and with welcome speeches from VNFU Vice-Chairperson Dr. Nguyen Duy Luong and incumbent AFA Chairperson Mr. Tsai, Shun-Te.

Around 45 representatives from 12 farmer organizations and partner NGOs from 10 Asian countries, such as API (Aliansi Petani Indonesia), FNN (Farmer and Nature Net) in Cambodia, VNFU (Vietnam Farmers Union), SorKorPor (Farmer’s Federations Association for Development Thailand), PAKISAMA (Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka) in the Philippines, AINOUKAI in Japan, KAFF (Korea Advanced Farmers’ Federation) and WAFF (Women Advanced Farmers’ Federation) in South Korea, TWADA (Taiwan Wax Apple Development Association), TDFA (Taiwan Dairy Farmers Association), KKM (Kendrio Krishok Moitre) and Action Aid in Bangladesh, NLRF (National Land Rights Forum) and CSRC (Community Self-Relience Centre) in Nepal attended the event, and ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) in Mongolia.

Representatives from partner agencies, such as Nellie van der Pasch of Agriterra, Ignace Coussement of Agricord, Thomas Price of GFAR (Global Forum on Agricultural Research), Marlene Ramirez of AsiaDHRRA, Jose Osaba of WRF (World Rural Forum), Michael Commons of Green Net, and Dinah Fuentisima of WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals) also graced the occasion.

Review of accomplishments and decisions

Opening with a video showing photos of the past four general assemblies of AFA, the 5th general assembly reviewed AFA’s accomplishments in the last two years (2010-2011) vis-a-vis the strategic plans it set for 2011-2015, while member FOs gave updates on their respective organizational activities.

The assembly also heard, discussed and adopted the Chairperson’s report regarding the administration and activities of AFA and confirmed decisions made by the Executive Committee in between general assemblies.

Exhibit, field visit, and courtesy call

As part of AFA’s knowledge sharing activities, each AFA member organization also put up an exhibit of its country’s agricultural products and traditional processed foods just outside the meeting room, where participants exchanged information on the items on display.

On March 8, participants also went on a field visit to an organic farming project, which is run mainly by women farmers.

It was followed by a short meeting with the VNFU chairperson and other leaders at the VNFU headquarters in a new building in Hanoi, where the two sides shared their aspirations and activities for farmers.

Two-year thrusts, new members, and new officers

The 5th General Assembly set the thrusts of AFA for the next two years, focusing mainly on governance and organizational development, capacity building, knowledge management, and policy advocacy.

The assembly welcomed AFA’s first two member FOs from South Asia — KKM (Kendrio Krishok Moitre) in Bangladesh and NLRF (National Land Rights Forum) in Nepal — whose applications for regular membership were previously approved by the AFA Execom.

It also determined the new set of Executive Committee members for 2012-2014, which in turn elected the new set of officers.

Through a collegial process that follows the tradition of leadership rotation, the Execom elected FNN President Uon Sophal as the new AFA Chairperson, the representative from Ainoukai as Vice-Chaiperson and the representative from API as Treasurer, while re-appointing Esther Penunia as Secretary General.

10th year anniversary, international women’s day, and tribute to farmer leaders

The general assembly was also an occasion for celebration and commemoration.

AFA celebrated its 10th year of existence through an exhibit of agricultural products, solidarity night, ritual of mixing and distributing traditional rice varieties from each Asian country, reading of solidarity statements from partners, awarding of plaques of appreciation, launching of a draft anniversary video and banners containing 10 themes, and the announcement of a plan to come out with a coffee table book highlighting AFA’s important achievements and future plans.

AFA also celebrated International Women’s Day during the field visit, courtesy call to VNFU headquarters, and solidarity night on March 8.

The Women Advanced Farmers’ Federation (WAFF), AFA’s first and so far only FO member composed solely of women, gave away gifts to women farmers during the field visit to the organic farming project.

VNFU’s Chairperson and other leaders also presented gifts to all AFA women during the courtesy call at the VNFU headquarters.

AFA’s women were again honored during the solidarity night, where they were given roses and asked to share their sentiments about the occasion.

Finally, the general assembly also set aside a special time to commemorate the heroism and martyrdom of farmer leaders in AFA who have died in the struggle for farmers’ rights.

The life and death of farmer leaders Lee Kyung Hae of South Korea; Vicente Paglinawan, Renato Penas, and Florita Caya of the Philippines; and women farmers Lamlaya Chamchamagar and Janak Kumari Chaudhary who died during the land rights campaign in Nepal were presented at the opening of the general assembly, followed by a moment of silence and a dedication of the event to their memory.

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ASEAN co-organizes CSO 101 session

AFA is co-organizing a regional sharing session dubbed as ASEAN CSO 101 together with ASEAN, ASFN, NTFP-EP, ASIADHRRA and AFA  with support from SDC and the government of Indonesia . The session aims to encourage building enabling environment for meaningful engagement mechanisms and initiatives between government bodies & civil society organizations in agriculture and forestry sector development. Specifically, the session hopes to  have a clearer picture of the CSO sector and the various perspectives and approaches used by various CSOs in rural development, particularly in forestry and agriculture sector initiatives, to bring forth and highlight positive examples of CSO–government/intergovernmental collaborations, and to further identify key themes and points where ASEAN-CSO engagement and constructive dialogue is crucial in rural development,  forestry and agriculture sectors towards sustainable development.

Mr.Muhamad Nuruddin, API Sec.General and a member of AFA ExeCom will be giving an opening message to all the participants and Ms.Lany V.Rebagay, Policy Advocacy Officer of AFA will also be sharing the AFA and AsiaDHRRA experience in engaging ASEAN.

In the News: The Marginalization of Bali’s Farmers

The growing threat to Bali’s agricultural heritage was recently highlighted by a statement from the head of the Indonesian Entrepreneurs Association (APINDO) declaring that Bali is no longer a suitable location for farming activities. In the view of a Balinese business leader, apparently Bali is becoming too crowded for the Balinese who should now be prepared to move on and make more room for tourist activities.

Quoted in Beritabali.com, the chairman of APINDO, Panundiana Khun, said that the diminishing amount of land available for agriculture in Bali means the government should undertake a large program of transmigration, moving Balinese farmers to other areas of Indonesia, such as Kalimantan.

Read more at Bali Discovery

In the News: Indonesia battles rice shortfall

“Reports from farmers seem to back up that view. Muhammad Nuruddin, the head of the 147,000-member Alliance of Farmers, said dozens of large-scale farms on the main Indonesian island of Java reported declines in their most recent harvest of at least 20 per cent, while average per hectare yields halved to 2 tonnes.

With extreme weather expected to continue, 2011 production will be flat at best, and more likely fall 10-15 per cent, said Mr Nuruddin, which would force Indonesia to import more rice.”

Indonesia’s authorities are being forced to import large quantities of rice as the country’s own production has been hit by heavy rain, heightening fears of more price inflation.

Paddy fields across the country have suffered almost a year of excessive flooding, while disease and pests have damaged the rice crop. Domestic rice prices rose 30 per cent in 2010 and in many major production centres, farmers reported yield declines of up to 50 per cent in late December.

Read more from Financial Times

In the News: Papua proposes 500,000 hectares for food estate: Minister

Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said his ministry received a proposal to make use of 500,000 hectare areas for the 1.6-million-hectare food and energy estate projects planned in Merauke, Papua.

He said half of the proposed area could be planted directly since it was not in forested areas that have been allocated for other business aims.

“We are still assessing the remaining 250,000 hectares to ensure whether they are located in peatland or natural forest areas,” Zulkifli said recently.

Read the full story at farmlandgrab.org

API News: Half Century Denial of Agrarian Law 1960: Half a Century Repression on Farmers

Jakarta: In order to commemorate the National Farmers Day on September 24, 2010, Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API) or Indonesian Peasants’ Alliance in cooperation with Front Perjuangan Pemuda Indonesia (FPPI) or the Front of Indonesian Young Struggle, and Solidaritas Anak Jalanan untuk Demokrasi (SALUD) or Street Children Solidarity for Democracy performed a parade at the famous demonstration circle area of Hotel Indonesia (HI), Jakarta. The sympathetic parade was part of a series of actions commenced on September 22, 2010 at the Tugu Tani with theatrical staged, and ended with a join rally with other national people organizations in front of the State Palace in Jakarta on September 24, 2010 (Link: Media Indonesia/Photos of Peasants Action on http://www.mediaindonesia.com/foto/6372/Demo-Petani)

The actions were to demand the government to immediately redistribute 9.6 million hectares of land to peasants, to keep in order and to utilize the land abandoned for the benefit of the peasantry, forming the Adhoc Committee of the Settlement agrarian conflict and to execute the Agrarian Reform, revoked other sectoral Law (e.g. Plantation, Forestry, Water Resources, Food, Mining, Investment, Plant Cultivation System, Plant Variety Protection, and others) for they are in conflict with Pancasila, the Constitution of 1945, and the Agrarian Law 1960, oppose the criminalization of peasants in the agrarian conflict resolution and demanding the government to construct the Farmers Rights Act, raise the price of Government Purchasing Price (HPP) of raw/unhulled grain and rice by 20%, and push Bulog buy the commodity directly to farmers, and the last but not least establish the 24th of September as National Farmers Day.

“We need to take action and demand the government to immediately redistribute 9.6 million hectares of land to the peasants, to put an order and to utilize the land for the benefit of the peasantry. Since fifty years ago, the Law No. 5 year 1960 on basic rules of agrarian (UUPA) has been as an umbrella of agrarian law passed in Indonesia, but it has never been on the run by the government seriously. The Agrarian Law aims to overhaul the agrarian structure inherited injustice of the colonial era. UUPA 1960 is actually the realization of article 33 of the Constitution 1945, which mandates that natural resources and production associated with the lives of many people are managed for the greatest prosperity of the people,” said Ferry Widodo, the coordinator of Action.
Continue reading API News: Half Century Denial of Agrarian Law 1960: Half a Century Repression on Farmers

In the News: FairPrice veggies direct from Indonesia farms

YESTERDAY, NTUC Fair- Price, the biggest supermarket chain in Singapore, launched Pasar Indonesia – its new range of vegetables sourced from Indonesia.

The launch, held at FairPrice Kang Kar Mall in conjunction with the opening of the Indonesia Istimewa Fair, was graced by the Indonesian ambassador, Mr Wardana.

In 1997, the Pasar brand of fresh produce from other countries was introduced, growing to encompass some 500 items, including fruit, vegetables, eggs and meat.

Under the Pasar Indonesia label, five popular vegetable varieties are offered: xiao bai cai, kai lan, bai cai, endive and cai sim.

Read the full story at Asian One

In the News: Insurance for Indonesian Farmers

Farmers need an insurance to warranty their lives. And in Indonesia, which the House of Representatives will soon be discussing the draft of law for Farmer Protection. Discussion on the bill that would regulate insurance for farmers is expected to be completed this year. That was revealed by the Ministry of Agriculture spokesman Iwantoro , when contacted on Saturday.

Actually, the draft has been completed. In the near future will be presented to Parliament. This bill also has been included in the list for discussion in Parliament this year. Under this bill, the farmer will get indemnity insurance or if you have a crop failure or loss suffered by farmers in conducting agricultural business. During this time, farmers have not received protection in the operations. As a result, farmers lose money when the crop failure occurs.

Read the full story at FFOG

In the News (Indonesia): ‘Super-Extreme’ Weather Is the Worst on Record

Jakarta. Indonesia has been experiencing its most extreme weather conditions in recorded history, meteorologists warned on Wednesday as torrential rains continued to pound the capital.

All regions across the archipelago have been experiencing abnormal and often catastrophic weather, an official from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said.

“We have reached a super-extreme level of weather this year, the first time in our history, and this is much worse than what we experienced back in 1998, when the La Nina caused extreme weather in the country,” Edvin Aldrian warned.

Read the full story at Jakarta Globe

In the News: Indonesian Flour Costs Could Rise as Exporters Lose Production

Jakarta. Local flour prices could see increases as steep as 20 percent due to supply shortages from Russia and Turkey, the Indonesian Association of Sugar and Flour Traders (Apegti) has predicted.

“Prices have gone up 10 percent due to increasing demand during Ramadan and are likely to rise 20 percent after the festivities as Russia and Turkey are cutting back on exports,” Apegti chairman Natsir Mansyur said on Sunday.

He said Russia, the world’s third-largest wheat exporter, had cut exports because bad weather had disrupted production.

Read the full story at Jakarta Globe

In the News (Indonesia): About 75,000 ha of rice fields converted for other purposes in Jambi

(Economic progress cannot be pursued at the expense of food security. Rice production should be supported and made profitable for farmers. Land use policies protecting rice production areas need to be passed. — Admin)

Out of 191,774 hectares of rice fields in Jambi province, about 75,000 hectares have been converted for other purposes, including palm oil and rubber plantations, over the last three to five years.

Data at Setara Foundation, which provides advocation to farmers, discloses that the fast rate of conversion was recorded in three of the 10 regencies in Jambi.

According to the data, the fastest rate of conversion took place in East Tanjung Jabung regency, Jambi’s rice production center, with conversion coverage reaching 15,000 hectares.

Read the full story at The Jakarta Post

In the News (Indonesia): Farmers rally to demand revision of Plant Cultivation System law

(AFA supports API and other peasant groups in Indonesia in their struggle to uphold farmers’ rights.)

Translated from Indonesian. (Click here for original story.)

Kediri, East Java, Indonesia, July 24, 2010 – As many as 50 farmers who are members of Farmers’ Solidarity Sovereignty (Solidaritas Kedaulatan Petani or SKP), held a demonstration in front of Prison Class II A of Kediri (Lapas Kelas II A Kediri, Sabtu) in East Java, Indonesia. The peasants feel victimized by the law, which they say only serves the interests of seed companies mainly owned by foreign investors.

They therefore urged the government to revise Law No.12/1992 on the Plant Cultivation System (Sistem Budidaya Tanaman or SBT).

Law No. 12 of 1992 on Plant Cultivation System (SBT Act). They said that the law protects the interests of capitalist investors while criminalizing farmers. They cited the case of Mr. Kuncoro, a farmer from Toyorosemi village, at Ngasem subdistrict, Kediri district, East Java province.

After being accused of producing corn seeds illegally, he was finally sentenced to seven months in jail in a trial held last May 31, 2010. “Mr. Kuncoro is a victim of the SBT Act,” said Naning Yunaidah Suprawati, action coordinator (and also advocacy staff of Aliansi Petani Indonesia or API in East Java.)
Continue reading In the News (Indonesia): Farmers rally to demand revision of Plant Cultivation System law

Dalam Berita (Indonesia): Demo Petani Kediri Desak Revisi UU

(Menegakkan petani hak! – AFA)

Kediri, 24 Juli 2010 – Sebanyak 50 orang petani yang tergabung dalam Solidaritas Kedaulatan Petani (SKP) menggelar unjuk rasa di depan Lapas Kelas II A Kediri, Sabtu (24/7). Para petani itu merasa menjadi korban produk undang-undang yang ditengarai menguntungkan kekuatan para pemilik modal atau investor.

Karena itu mereka mendesak pemerintah merevisi Undang-undang No 12 tahun 1992 tentang Sistem Budidaya Tanaman (SBT). UU itu dinilai berpihak kepada investor dan pemilik modal yang unjung-ujungnya bisa mengkriminalisasi para petani. Itu seperti dialami Kuncoro, Warga Toyorosemi, Kecamatan Ngasem, Kediri.

Karena dituduh memproduksi benih jagung, akhirnya dia divonis tujuh bulan penjara pada sidang 31 Mei 2010. “Pak Kuncoro adalah korban UU SBT,” kata Koordinator Aksi Naning Yunaidah Suprawati, Sabtu (24/7).
Continue reading Dalam Berita (Indonesia): Demo Petani Kediri Desak Revisi UU

In the News: Violent Land Dispute Between Indonesian Police and Farmers Caught on Tape

(This case should be immediately investigated by authorities! The rights of farmers to their land should be upheld! Land grabbing and farmer harassment cannot be tolerated!)

Jakarta. Indonesia Corruption Watch have reacted strongly to reports that police in Bengkulu Province sexually harassed and physically abused 50 villagers in Seluma district as they protested against what they claim is a land grab by the state.

ICW activist Tama Satrya Langkun, recently in the headlines after he was beaten by unknown assailants after reporting a number of senior police generals to the Corruption Eradication Commission, said they had received concerning reports of a clash between farmers from Pering Baru village and Seluma Police on Friday.

He alleged that police had sexually harassed six women, injured 20 farmers and arrested 21 people in the incident.

The villagers were protesting against state plantation firm PT Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN) VII in a land dispute.

Read the full story at Jakarta Globe

In the News (Indonesia): Rattan export limitation harms local industry

(Export limit policies for non-food agricultural products need to be rationalized to ensure a better deal for local producers. Policies allowing only certain regions of the country to export certain agricultural products should be supported by infrastructure and support services as well to meet the production targets. — Admin)

Farmers and activists demand the government revise the 2009 Trade Ministry Regulation limiting rattan exports, arguing it could destroy the domestic rattan industry.

“The regulation has limited the country’s rattan exports,” Julius Hoesan from the Indonesian Rattan Businessmen Association (APRI) said in a dialog here on Wednesday.

The regulation allows annual exports of up to 35,000 tons of semi-finished rattan.

Julius said Indonesia’s rattan consumption was only 40,000 tons per year while its potential production of natural rattan could reach 696,000 tons annually.

“What are we going to do with the rest of the rattan produced? It causes rattan prices to decline.”

Read the full story at The Jakarta Post

In the News: Indonesia’s Farmers are Internationally Certified to Produce Organic Coffee

(Market information for Indonesian organic coffee. — Admin)

Indonesian Coffee is famous worldwide. Indonesia is currently the third largest producer of Coffee in the world following Brazil and Vietnam. The country also ranks fourth among green coffee exporters on the global market.

According to International Coffee Organization, in 2008 Indonesia produced 561,000 tones of green coffee accounting for approximately 9% of global output. Production is decreasing because of the slowing international demand. Indonesia’s domestic Coffee consumption reaches around 190,000 metric tons annually.

The planted area for Coffee is decreasing, especially in the Robusta growing regions. This is reportedly due to lower Coffee prices. Farmers are apparently shifting from Coffee to cocoa trees, which require less maintenance and have generally provided higher, more stable prices over the past five years. It’s been noted that more and more farmers in the Lampung area – traditionally a major Coffee production area – are converting from Coffee to cocoa production.

Read the full article at Market Publishers

In the News (Indonesia): Ensuring Redd is not mere pulp fiction

RECENT developments in curbing high levels of forest loss around the world are promising. They are significant because deforestation, including the clearing of trees from peat swamps in South-east Asia, is the biggest source of global warming emissions from human activity, after fossil fuel burning.

Indonesia has the eighth largest forest area on the planet and half the global total of tropical peatland. It is the world’s leading emitter of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from deforestation.

So Indonesia’s announcement last month that, starting next January, it will place a two-year moratorium on new permits to clear forests and peatlands is a potentially important advance in a programme to help developing countries protect forests. In fact, advocates of the United Nations-backed forest preservation scheme, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (Redd), argue that it is the fastest and cheapest way to cut greenhouse emissions.

Read the full story