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Poverty Around Palm Oil Plantations

Poverty Around Palm Oil Plantations

InfoSAWIT, YOGYAKARTA – In an international scale conference with the theme, The Paradox of Agrarian Change: Food Security and the politic of social Protection in Indonesia, Wednesday (18/1/2023) at Gedung Masri Singarimbun, Pusat Studi Kependudukan dan Kebijakan (PSKK) Universitas Gajah Mada (UGM) revealed that the poverty numbers in Indonesia gets smaller but food insecurity  remains high and the same with many villages around palm oil plantations.

The villagers that live around palm oil plantations do not the significant impacts from economy but in reverse, they are poor, having limits to food and natural resource access, and even they are difficult to get the chances to work for having no agricultural areas.

That is why the government should publish a policy to escalate their welfare around palm oil plantations to be out of poverty. The government should not publish concession areas for palm oil plantation companies.

Anthropologist of Universitas Indonesia, Suraya Afif, Ph.D., said agrarian reform that the government planned does not impact yet to get poverty alleviation namely for those who live around palm oil plantations within the note, many companies have got hundred thousand hectare – concession permit, while the villagers around still live in poverty, and get issue with stunting. This happens because they are difficult to get access of source of income. The villagers around palm oil plantations have difficult access of food sources.

“The government needs to solve this. Agrarian issue should be about poverty issue and stunting becomes the main goal to welfare the villagers. In many palm oil plantation regions, the female gets the impact the most,” Afif said, as InfoSAWIT quoted from the official page of UGM.

What he studied showed that many male and female should get out from their villages to get new sources of income for they did not have anything. “In fact, they want to have areas to be the source of living but the plantation companies have mastered,” he said.

Sociologist of Universitas Sumatera Utara, Dr. Henri Sitorus told, it is a need to get new planting for food access and natural resource for the people who live around palm oil plantations. “We found out in our study and showed that there are varied about food and fishery security. We also know that there are gaps to get work in palm oil plantation companies though the applicants just want to be freelancers,” Sitorus said. (T2)