By: Handoyo Gunawan (Labanan Makarti FORCLIME FC DPMU Berau Field Mentor)
condition The recent of rubber garden along with gaharu
plants reside between the rubber trees
“The plant is not harvested mas,…. The price of latex is now very low, later if the price is getting better, we will start to harvest again…” That is the answer of Pak Sugeng, 52, one of the rubber planters who live in the village of Labanan Makarti when he is asked why his rubber plantation is abandoned while it is worth of harvesting.
Around the year of 2010-2013, the villagers of Labanan Makarti was one of the target of Plantation Credit Program which allows the locals having opportunity to get fund for development of small holder rubber plantation. Installments are repaid when the rubber plants are harvested. Analysis of Farming Enterprises shows that smallholder rubber plantation business is “eligible”. Credit scheme is considered profitable for smallholder, as well as for the funder/bank.
However, a good planning is not always meet the expectation. The sluggish economic conditions make latex prices fall and get lower. Lump rubber price, which is low-quality product of latex that is taken from certain local’s rubber Plantation is getting worse. At the end, this condition make the rubber plantation owned by locals are “dead” …. Their land is threatened to be converted. This is failed!!!
Rubber plant lands with the age of Produce Plant (“Tanaman Menghasilkan”) is left unharvested. Production per day of Rubber’s lump is only priced by Rp 60.000. This daily income from the harvest result is even lower to the daily wage in daily wage of workers in the palm plantation, which is at least Rp 100.000 per day. Rubber land practicaly does not produce anything. In some areas, there is even a tendency to convert farmers land into plasma oil palm plantations..... a solution must be found for this problem.