Inauguration of the peasants’ union SPI Food Sovereignty Area in Bogor, Indonesia

On March 31st, 2022 the Indonesian Peasants Union (SPI) inaugurated the Food Sovereignty Area (KDP) in Ciaruteun Ilir Village, Cibungbulang District, Bogor Regency, West Java.

This food sovereignty area is a concrete example of the local realization of the rights of peasants, as enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Others Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP). It is an inspiring example that demonstrates that the work of implementing the UNDROP can and should start from the grassroots, the peasant communities, and then be articulated with the other levels (national, regional and international).

On the day of the inauguration, the General Secretary of SPI, Agus Ruli Ardiansyah, said that KDP was an area where the population applies the concept of food sovereignty, through the use of all natural resources of the area in an agroecological and integrated manner by, from, and for the people to provide sufficient, safe, healthy and nutritious food; and have an impact on the economic development of the area that will prosper its people.

KDP has several principles. First, the main actors in agriculture are farming families and/or cooperatives. Second, land, water and seeds are equally controlled by the people living in the area. Third, agricultural production is carried out on a small scale. Fourth, the agricultural production model uses is agroecology. Fifth, the agricultural post-harvest process is carried out on a small and medium scale. Sixth, distribution of agricultural products is carried out in near and medium distances and/or local/territorial markets

From a legal perspective, the area of food sovereignty is legitimized by the Basic Agrarian Law no.5/1960, Food Law no.18/2012, Law on Protection and Empowerment of Peasants no.19/2013, Horticulture Law no.13/2010 , Law on Livestock and Livestock Health no.18/2009, Law on Protection of Sustainable Food Agricutural Land no.41/2009 and Cooperative Law no.12/2012 and its derivative regulations, as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) ” said Agus Ruli in Bogor on that day.

H. Uu Ruzhanul Ulum, Deputy Governor of West Java who was also present at this event, added that he was grateful for being invited to this inauguration. “I am proud of the SPI peasants here. Congratulations on the food sovereignty area in the village, hopefully it can improve the peasants’ economy” he said.

Meanwhile, Zainal Arifin Fuad, of the International Coordinating Committee of La Via Campesina stated that La Via Campesina’s struggle was fought from the village to the international level. “We have been fighting for food sovereignty since 1996. The peak was in 2014 when FAO gave an alternative and recognized agroecological agriculture as an alternative to conventional agriculture that has made peasants dependent on chemical inputs from companies” he said.

On the same occasion, Pandi, Chair of the SPI Bogor explained that KDP in Bogor was and area of 30 hectares. “There are 150 peasants spread over 5 districts, namely Dramaga, Cibungbulang, Leuwiliang, Ciampea and Tamansari. Peasants grow leafy vegetables (spinach, caisim, kenikir, kale, basil, and others) fruit vegetables (cucumber, eggplant, chili, etc.) and fruits such as bananas, papayas, cassava, sweet potatoes” said Pandi.

Pandi explained that vegetables could be harvested two times a month. “In 1 hectare it can reach 4 tons. For bananas, papaya, cassava, sweet potatoes in 1 hectare (about 9 months) it can reach 15 tons” he explained. “SPI peasants in Bogor apply agroecology that does not consume chemical agricultural inputs, comes from nature. For marketing and distribution, we use peasants’ cooperative” he concluded.

To this date, KDP has been built in 7 Provinces in Indonesia, namely Aceh, West Sumatera, Lampung, Jambi, East Java, South Kalimantan and West Java.

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