Universitas Gadjah Mada in collaboration with Pekalongan regency and Perum Perhutani have built rural economic ecosystem in Gunungsurat village, Pekalongan regency, Central Java, on Tuesday (4/9/2018). It came in the form of transfer of management of the Perhutani forest to the farmers joining Forest Community institution that formed a people-owned enterprise. This is the first time ever to be done in Indonesia. Farmers are expected to have bargaining power in determining the product sale of price.
Regent of Pekalongan, H. Asip Kholbihi, SH., M.Si., said in Pekalongan there are 29 thousand ha of lands in Lebakbarang, Paninggaran, and Petungkriyono that can be cultivated. But 3,000 ha are protected forests that cannot be cultivated.
"The land management transfer is the first in Indonesia. For the pilot project, we will transfer up to 1 thousand ha,” he said.
He added the enterprise would be owned, run, and enjoyed by the farmers themselves and this would be a reference for other regions.
Director General for Social Forestry and Environment Partnership, Dr. Ir. Bambang Supriyanto, M.Sc., appreciated Pekalongan regency, PT Pagilaran company representing UGM, and Perum Perhutani for their tripartite collaboration that had helped the welfare of surrounding farmers.
”There are 27 forest groups working in synergy for this project. They will establish cooperatives. Some of the cooperatives will establish a people-owned enterprise in collaboration with PT Pagilaran,” said Bambang.
The government supports the establishment of the enterprise by providing facilities for tea production and factory construction, and technology by UGM through PT Pagilaran.
Director of PT Pagilaran, Dr. Ir. Rahmat Gunadi, M.Si., said the tripartite cooperation was a form of forest management that engages the society, which comes in the enterprise establishment.
Rahmat explained the the forest community institution would form a business organisation and hoped to generate IDR 150 billion in revenue.
Meanwhile, UGM Vice-Rector for Cooperation and Alumni, Dr. Paripurna, S.H., M.Hum., LL.M., added that with this collaboration, UGM has more contribution in agriculture, people’s farming schemes, and research.
"Facilitated by Perhutani, UGM would contribute more and realise itself as the university of the people,” he said.
In the event, tea plants were handed over to the farmers as well as planting of several trees by officials and community leaders.