Bulukumba – Hundreds of farmers from the Bulukumba People’s Struggle Front (FPR) in South Sulawesi commemorated National Farmers Day (HTN) with a protest action in front of the Bulukumba regent’s office on Monday September 24.
During the demonstration the protesters held a theatrical action depicting the lives of farmers whose land is stolen by feudal landlords.
Taking turns giving speeches, the protesters called on the government not to extend the rubber plantation company PT. London Sumatra’s (Lonsum) land use permit (HGU) until a new land survey is carried out and that the company not be allowed to replace rubber trees until the land dispute with local people is resolved.
In addition to this the protesters raised several other issues including challenging the agricultural input monopoly on seed, pesticides, fertilizer and agricultural tools, which they said greatly harms farmers.
They also demanded a drastic reduction in land rents, particularly for feudal produce which is unbalanced and unfair to farmers, and a reduction in the cost of basic necessities.
The protesters also rejected the local government’s rezoning of the People’s Forest Land management bock in Bontobahari sub-district.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was Peringati HTN, Ratusan Petani Unjuk Rasa di Bulukumba.]