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Land conversion proliferates HKTI urges customary village to set farming bylaw

Land conversion proliferates HKTI urges customary village to set farming bylawThe rampant land conversion to housing complexes makes the Indonesian Farmers Union (HKTI) of Tabanan speak up. Chairman of the HKTI Tabanan, Nyoman Sukania, urged all villages to set forth customary bylaw to protect farmland. Otherwise, the farmland in Tabanan would be getting narrower. As a result, the agricultural production would continue to decline.

Though holding no exact data, said Sukania, his party had a lot of evidences on the high land conversion into housing in Tabanan. According to him, the land conversion almost took place in every subdistrict. The most severe condition occurred in Marga, Kerambitan, Tabanan and Kediri subdistrict. Virtually every corner of the productive land had been transformed into residential area. More sadly, those housing complexes were not inhabited by local residents, but entirely by newcomers. “Since the past few years, we have continued to highlight the land conversion to residential area. We ask all the customary villages to set forth bylaw to protect farmland,” said Sukania, Sunday (Jan 27).

He explained the Regional Bylaw on Spatial Plan owned by Tabanan County was unable to dam the onslaught of housing investors. Even, the bylaw seemed like a toothless tiger. As evidence, many housing projects were found on productive land. “If the reason is for the needs of local residents, it is not reasonable because the housing dweller is even dominated by regional migrants,” criticized the man from Baturiti.

On that account, he asked every customary village to make bylaw for farmland protection. According to him, it was only bylaw (awig-awig) that could stem the land conversion effectively. “If every customary village has owned a strict bylaw, the land conversion can be stemmed,” he affirmed. As an example, said Sukania, every newcomer should be obliged to join in the local customary village (ngayah). Then, each housing project had to provide space at least one meter from each house compound wall. With this rule, the establishment of housing projects could be controlled.

Other than customary village, Sukania also asked the county government to seriously handle the issues on land conversion. Hopefully, the regional bylaw on spatial plan (RTRW) that had been signed by the House would not only be a sheet of paper. However, it should be well guarded. Sukania pointed out, though having had a regional bylaw on spatial plan, there was still uncertainty regarding the green belt. As evidence, many buildings were established on gray zones. “Supposedly, the county government should team up with customary village and find out the best solution to diminish the land conversion,” he said.

Meanwhile, the data compiled by Bali Post from the Tabanan Food Crops and Horticulture Agency indicated that land conversion had happened to paddy fields at the area of 21 hectares in 2009. Later, in 2010 the land conversion happened to 10 hectares, where nearly all of them were used for residential purposes. In 2011, the land conversion reached 20 hectares. (kmb30)