InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – The alternative to develop independent economy for independent smallholders, as a matter of fact, could positively deliver impacts. Many training programs ran for the increasing plantation productivity and their income besides fulfilling their other (daily) needs.
After selecting to get independent economy run and establishing saving and loan cooperation, KSP Karya Mandiri encouraged some training programs. Some members got the benefits from the programs.
In KSP the cash given to the members in the form of loan would not be returned by waiting for it only but the members would be developed to be able to manage the fund well. The advantages of the programs are as follows:
The Training to Increase the Productivity and Business Innovation of the Smallholders
KSP Karya Mandiri has played the important role to increase the members’ capacity to develop the independent economy, such as, by making trainings to food plantation, livestock breeding, making compost fertilizer, chips, and fish breeding. The smallholders who joined the training would not indirectly do whatever they do but they are developed by the coordinators of KSP Karya Mandiri so that smallholders could practice their knowledge fast. For the members of KSP are mostly smallholders, they got good agricultural practice (GAP) trainings to increase their productivity. The training ran successfully. They used to produce 14 tons of fresh fruit bunch (FFB) pre hectares, now they get 17 tons per hectares in every single year. Besides the increasing cash from the FFB selling, the trainings were supported by the other mainstay programs, such as, making the fertilizer and herbicides.
Education for Children
Long days ago, the smallholders’ children could not get higher education because of the limited economy. If there were some children went to the higher education, they were from the smallholders who had more than 9 hectares of plantations. The educational fee gets more expensive because the country might not manage it. This could be the main factor why the smallholders’ children did not go to school. Though there were some loan sharks, the smallholders were reluctant to borrow the case from them because the interest rate was so big, about 10 – 15%.
Since KSP Karya Mandiri in Village of Tanjung Benanak was made, the smallholders who could not get their children go to school now relieved. KSP gives easy access of loan when the smallholders borrow the money to get their children in school. Based on the last information, the numbers of children who get to school reached 20%. Besides the smallholders, slowly but surely, stop to loan from the loan sharks.
Smallholders’ Food Security through the Palm Oil Area Functional Change
In 1980s the government ran transmigration programs in many regions, including in the Village of Tanjung Benanak. Every family got housing area for about 0,25 hectare and yard about 0,75 hectare. As time went by and kinds of daily needs, the house yard in 1990s were changed to be palm oil areas which they used to call ‘palm oil yard’.
The expensive daily needs, and uncertain palm oil price made the smallholders return the area function which was palm oil yard to be food yard. This was about to survive and maintain the food stocks for the village needs though there was market in the village which supplied the needs from outsides. Until now there are about 25 smallholders in 3 villages returning the plantation function to be food commodity plantation.
It is undeniable that in the first place many smallholders objected because they thought, palm oil was the source of economy. But as time went by, they have been aware of. In Village of Tanjung Benanak and Tanjung Makmur, 10 smallholders have changed the palm oil plantations to be orange ones. In Village of Lampisi and Village of Cinta Damai there are 8 hectares of orange, date palm, avocado, water apple, and vegetable plantations. (T2)