YOGYAKARTA - Indonesia is an agrarian country in which food security and environmental sustainability can be realized; one of them is through protection to farmers and farmland. Unfortunately, the fact shows that currently there is the process that marginalizes farmers to agricultural land because: land production is insufficient to farmers, lack of access to capital and market, and weak farmer’s institution in dealing with issues relating to the management of rural farming business.
The fewer ownership of land is the main factor that caused poverty among farmers but this does not reduce the number of farmers. Of five villages representing four regencies in Yogyakarta which were taken as study, including Hargobinangun (Sleman), Banyuraden (Sleman), Srigading (Bantul), Jatisarno (Kulonprogo) and Ngunut (Gunungkidul), most farmers only cultivate less than 5000 m2. Moreover, farmers who control less than 1000 m2 of land are between 4% -28% in the entire villages.
From revenue aspect, approximately 50% of farmers' income is less than 500 thousand rupiah per month. Even in Ngunut village, Gunung Kidul regency, 94% of farmers has income which is less than 500 thousand rupiah per month. "In Ngunut village the land is moor and relatively has lower soil fertility," the lecturer of the National Land High School (STPN), Sutaryono, said in doctoral exam at UGM Faculty of Geography, Saturday (3/3).
In his dissertation entitled 'Farmer Marginalization in Yogyakarta Special Province, Special Reference on the Contestation of Agricultural Land in Rural Areas', he explained farmers' access to credit is also an issue faced by most farmers. "About 69.6% of farmers are unable to access credit," he said.
The difficulty in access to credit is due to several reasons related to the complexity of the requirements, collaterals, the amount of services/interest and the lack of trust from creditors.
Institutionally, most farmers in every village have participated actively in the activities of farmer’s groups. It reaches from 60% to 92%.This condition indicates that farmer’s awareness to participate in the institutions related directly to them is getting better. However, the high involvement of farmers in the farmer’s and institutional community has not been a good impact on the role of farmers in decision making related to farmer business and agricultural development programs and other community programs. "The low involvement of farmers in decision-making implies a lack of involvement among farmers in agricultural development programs," he said.
Related to the increasing pressures on agricultural land tenure, according to Sutaryono, various efforts are required to protect and preserve agricultural land so that farmers can farm safely and sustainably. The efforts made are the determination of the agricultural areas, transitional arrangements on land rights and strict land use, participatory control on agricultural land and disincentive and intensive enforcement system for development actors who use agricultural land.