Food Estate rejected

VIVA News | Senin, 26 April 2010

“We surely won’t let such thing happen to us”

Hadi Suprapto, Agus Dwi Darmawan

(Subekti | Surabaya Post)

VIVAnews - The Agricultural Stance Coalition has rejected the government’s plan to establish a food estate in Merauke, Papua. According to them, the plan sounds reckless and letting the people of Indonesia become slaves in their own country.

The spokesperson of the coalition, which consists of 16 agricultural organizations, Dwi Astuti announced their response towards the plan that could possibly lead to farmers slavery whereas, as the subject of agricultural reform, farmers should obtain rights to own their lands and establish partnerships with marketers.

“But, as stated in article 6 and 7 of the Agriculture Ministerial Decree, with more than 10 workers, farmers have the potential to work on their own fields,” Astuti said on Monday, April 26.

Prosperous Village Alliance representative, Tejo also conveyed their reason to reject the food estate, which is environmental. For example, the Amazon Forest in Brazil that has caused the country to be the biggest greenhouse gas contributor in the world.

“We surely won’t let such thing happen to us,” he said, adding the use of pesticides to overcome pest issues in palm oil plantations as another example.

The World Health Organization announced at least 4,000 people had died due to pesticide overuse in Brazil. The Amazon, which has the widest variety of living creatures with 300 species occupying every acre, has also lost its biodiversity.

Indonesia, which is not much different than Amazon, has claimed to be building 1.2 million acres-wide food and energy estates. “If we don’t do something, we’ll have the disaster in Brazil all over again and the farmers will be the victims,” Tejo said.

Furthermore, due to the high amount of capital and wide corporate ranges, there has been a strong allegation of business monopoly. The farmers have even obtained the information on the list of 11 major companies, in which three prominent companies are involved, that will run the suspected plan.

“They will control the selling prices,” he said.


Translated by: Nataya Ermanti • VIVAnews
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