Handling of transmigration problems should not only focus on agriculture sector. There should also be a change of paradigm that transmigration is not merely mass mobilisation to other regions. It is a matter of voluntary act. This was stated by researcher of demography from Faculty of Geography UGM, Dr. Sukamdi, M.Sc, in a discussion with UGM Institute for Research and Community Service and Manpower and Transmigration Ministry in the Centre for Rural Areas and Regional Studies, Friday (23/8).
“It seems that transmigration is not to be detached from agricultural matters, while outside Java we see many conflicts arising related to land issues,” said Sukamdi.
Sukamdi assessed that there are still problems in terms of institutional matter related to transmigration. It is as if transmigration could be handled by any other department. In fact, transmigration has to be under bigger authority and position.
Meanwhile, Ir. M. Muljadi Moehsin, MCRP, Technical Planning Director of the Ministry said there had been some reduction in the number of transmigration, particularly since the reform in 1998. In the New Order, there were 50-125 families annually, currently, it standsat 7-10 thousands.
“It was once was thriving, but since the reform, it has been declining up till now,” he said.
Muljadi said through transmigration, people distribution has been equally done for Sabang to Merauke. Until 2011, there were 1 provincial capital, 103 regential capitals and 2 new cities outside Java, from 1183 villages with 2.2 million population becoming 27 millions.
“There are also centres of food commodity production and agriculture in the transmigration areas,” he added.