MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, KULONPROGO— The Muhammadiyah Council for Community Empowerment Council (MPM) commemorated National Farmers’ Day 2023 with the inauguration of the JATAM (Muhammadiyah Farmer Association), planting banana seeds, and releasing catfish fry in Nanggulan, Kulonprogo Regency, on Saturday, September 23.
In his remarks, the President of Muhammadiyah Haedar, who attended the event, praised the MPM’s commitment to making Farmers’ Day a part of the effort to uphold food sovereignty and build associations with diverse classifications.
As creatures of God, humans are required to be servants and caliphs. Indeed, being caliphs is a particular task for humans because other creatures do not have it. Therefore, it is not true that some groups of people say that the earth should not be managed. However, it can be done under the principles of sustainability.
Citing Multatuli saying, “Indonesian archipelago coils yonder round the Equator like a girdle of emerald,” Haedar said that this country has extraordinary land, sea, and air wealth. All of this wealth should be administered. However, it should not be done destructively, including naming the sake of the development as an excuse.
“Reforestation is undertaken, but it is not well-planned, so forests are damaged, and the damage is not recovered,” said Haedar in the event also attended by Rector of Universitas Ahmad Dahlan (UAD) Muchlas MT, Chairman of the Muhammadiyah Regional Board of D.I. Yogyakarta Arif Jamali Muis, a representative of the Muhammadiyah Council for Waqf Utilization Mahli Zainuddin Tago, and representatives of the Muhammadiyah and Aisyiyah Local Board of Kulonprogo.
Every management of the earth leaves an impact. Thus, it requires regulations that are fruitful for all people. In response to problems due to development, Muhammadiyah members should be part of the solution.
Haedar also urged the MPM to resolve land management issues, including agriculture and fisheries, by collaborating with many stakeholders and elements.
“Policies of this country are also not yet pro-farmers overall. There is a paradox. Agricultural cultivation aid remains smaller than other industries. This is a challenge for farmers. Thus, they have to farm more productively,” said Haedar.
Furthermore, the Chairman of MPM, M. Nurul Yamin, said that the event’s location at the Muhammadiyah Nanggulan Orphanage in Kulonprogo symbolized collaboration between Muhammadiyah councils and institutes.
“The Farmers’ Day commemoration is an effort to solve problems through collaboration, especially in food sovereignty,” said Yamin.
Yamin also mentioned that the JATAM has branches from the central to the sub-district board of Muhammadiyah. This awareness is essential to enhancing the bargaining power of farmers.
Although most Indonesian citizens are farmers, economic justice for farmers still needs to be achieved. In the planting season, the price of seeds is high, while agricultural product costs drop when the harvest season comes. Therefore, Yamin invites Indonesians to uphold agriculture as the nation’s foundation.
Besides, Azman Latief, a representative of the Muhammadiyah Regional Board of D.I. Yogyakarta said that the Farmers’ Day commemoration is the day for most Indonesian citizens, namely farmers. He hoped that Indonesian independence would be linked to independent national food security.
“Humans may not change their clothes, but they must eat,” exclaimed Azman.