West Papua Agriculture Industry Depends Heavily on Transmigrant Farmers

West Papua
Source : JPNN

West Papua agriculture industry has enormous potential to grow into a large producer of agricultural goods in Eastern Indonesia. As a result, the government will continue improving agricultural output throughout all West Papua Province districts.

West Papua Agriculture Industry Depends Heavily on Transmigrant Farmers
Source: JPNN

Agriculture in West Papua is modernizing with the aid of migrant farmers. Rural regions and the agriculture industry go hand in hand. West Papua’s agriculture sector shows, particularly in the rural areas, that even if people coexist, their conditions are not the same.¬†

The management of production issues through cultivation techniques utilizing cutting-edge technology was previously known to some rural residents, particularly transmigrant farmers.

Transmigration in West Papua Agriculture Industry

In Manokwari Regency, the province, situated on the westernmost point of Papua Island, Indonesia, started a transmigration program in 1969. Twelve households participated in the Pelopor Pembangunan Serba Guna program (30 people).

According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), in 2013, Manokwari had 21,314 families with agricultural enterprises, including both Papuan native and immigrant farmers. Many farming families feel that transmigration is a process of cultural acculturation. It aids in adopting agricultural technological advancements by local farmers.

The local Papuan farmers’ farming practices at the time were traditional and subsistence-based. Transmigration believes in speeding up West Papua agriculture industry growth by assisting local farmers in improving attitudes, knowledge, and skills to boost welfare, despite the lengthy implementation process and several intricate functions.

Agricultural Methods in West Papua

The following are some significant distinctions between indigenous Papuan farmers and transmigrant farmers in West Papua in terms of farming practices:

  • Indigenous farmers favor shifting crops.
  • While both employ manual land management methods, immigrant farmers also use machinery.
  • Farmers in the area make judgments based on common sense and local legislation. Transmigrant decision-makers, however, rely on knowledge, data, and technology.
  • Agriculturalists from other countries have employed insecticides, fertilizers, and high-yielding cultivars (HYVs).
  • Both rely on work provided by family members. However, immigrants also use hired labor.
  • While the harvests of native farmers are only packed and unprocessed, the goods of immigrant farmers are processed and packaged in a contemporary manner.
  • Farmers who are immigrants advertise and sell their unprocessed or processed goods. Farmers in the area also prepare food for their usage.

Additionally, native farmers do not maintain agricultural records, unlike immigrants. Contrarily, maintaining accurate West Papua agriculture industry records can help farmers plan and carry out realistic estimates.

The Java Island transmigrant group in Manokwari successfully changed the traditional farming methods used by local farmers. Moving from changing to ongoing cultivation is the transformation. Productivity and effectiveness are predicted to rise as a result of this development.

Wrapping Up

This change in farming practices has received good feedback from local farmers. To improve production and food sovereignty, the TNI and the Ministry of Agriculture in West Papua created the “cetak sawah” initiative. The land cleared due to this operation was shown on the national land standard area map from 2016 to 2018.

Currently, there are roughly 10,000 hectares of rice fields. With yields ranging from 3 to 5 tons per hectare at each harvest, just 50% are actively producing. West Papua Agriculture Industry has much potential, with a population of 981,222 million, 12 regencies, and one city. Unfortunately, there aren’t many farmers in the region, and many new farmers still require assistance.