Transmigration in Manokwari: Traces of History

West Papua
Sumber : Rri

Transmigration is considered one of the most effective ways to balance population distribution, accelerating regional development, expanding job opportunities, ensuring equitable distribution of human and natural resources, and improving the standard of living of the transmigrants.

Transmigration destinations are potential agricultural locations. Manokwari, West Papua, has a lot of lands that is fertile and suitable for farming. There is also a lot of undeveloped areas that could be used as a transmigration site. Transmigration in Manokwari also contributes to accelerating development.

West Papua
Sumber : elshinta

The Beginning of Transmigration in Manokwari

The migration of people to Manokwari has been carried out since the Dutch colonial era, which the Indonesian government then continued since it was seen beneficial. Transmigrants are willing to participate voluntarily and without coercion to improve their economic standard of living.

Poverty and inequality in the place of origin and the availability of land for settlement and plantations in new locations are the most compelling reasons for transmigrants to join the program.

There are two types of transmigration program participants: national and local transmigrants. National transmigrants are people the Indonesian government has transferred from their place of origin outside Papua, such as Java, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), and West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).

Meanwhile, local transmigrants in Manokwari are further divided into two types. They are members of the Arfak Community, usually the traditional owners of the land used for the program and their relatives, and those who have migrated from other areas of Papua.

Transmigration Sites in West Papua: Prafi and Minyambouw

Prafi Subdistrict Manokwari Regency is located in the Prafi Plain and is approximately 50 to 60 km (about 1 hour by road) from Manokwari City. Prafi currently consists of 16 villages. The majority of indigenous people (the Arfak Tribe) live in eleven villages. In contrast, most of the other four villages are non-Papuans (mostly Javanese). 

Prafi is a production center for cocoa, corn, lowland rice, soybeans, oil palm, and various vegetables. The indigenous Papuan farmers have been relocated and live side-by-side with the national transmigrants, most of whom are Javanese.

The indigenous Papuans were willing to relocate from the more remote highland areas to Prafi for two reasons. The first is to encourage economic development in the area. The second reason the government is seeking the involvement of the Arfak people is to modernize their farming system by learning better agricultural practices from their Javanese counterparts. 

The Minyambouw district and its surrounds, on the other hand, have been designated by the government as a center for the production of highland crops, such as celery, carrots, leeks, potatoes, and cabbage. There are many traders from the Minyambouw district and its surroundings who sell their produce in urban markets.

Masni Port Construction 2020

Transmigration has made Manokwari a thriving transmigration area. Through the Transportation Service, the West Papua Provincial Government began constructing the Masni Port, Prafi District, Manokwari Regency, Friday (10/23/2020).

The construction of the Masni Port is in the community’s interest and facilitates sea transportation access to the area and increases the rate of economic growth of the community, especially the residents of Masni District, Manokwari Regency. This port is projected not only for passengers but also for loading and unloading containers.

According to Media Indonesia, the Head of the West Papua Transportation Service, Agustinus Kadakolo, stated that they built the Masni Port on ​​10 hectares with IDR 21 billion.

The first phase of construction, which was attended by the Governor of West Papua, Dominggus Mandacan, was marked by laying the first stone and cutting a pig’s head in Masni Village, Prafi District, Manokwari Regency, West Papua Saturday (10/24/2020).

In this way, transmigration in Manokwari has proven to have an interesting historical trail and is beneficial in accelerating West Papua‘s development, especially in Manokwari.