Gov’t to Establish Task Force to Control Agricultural Land Conversion
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on 6 September 2019 signed Presidential Regulation (Perpres) Number 59 of 2019 on Controlling Agricultural Land Conversion in order to control the rapid conversion of agricultural land, especially paddy fields, to non-agricultural land as well as to protect national rice production and national food security.
The Presidential Regulation aims to:
- accelerate the establishment of protected paddy fields map in order to provide and maintain the availability of paddy fields to support national food demand;
- control an increasingly rapid paddy field conversion;
- empower farmers to protect the function of paddy fields; and
- provide data and information on paddy fields to achieve sustainable agricultural land.
The Regulation also stipulates that an Integrated Team for Controlling Paddy Fields Conversion, hereinafter referred to as the Integrated Team, should be established to control paddy fields conversion.
“The aforementioned Integrated Team has responsibility to: a. coordinate the implementation of verification to determine the protected paddy fields map; b. synchronize the results of the verification of paddy fields; c. propose the establishment/map of protected paddy fields; and d. carry out monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of paddy-fields conversion control,” article 4 paragraph (2) of the Regulation reads.
The Integrated Team, according to the Regulation, consists of:
Chairperson: Coordinating Minister for the Economy; Managing Director: Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Planning/Head of the National Land Agency; Members: a. Minister of Public Works and Public Housing; b. Minister of Agriculture; c. Minister of Home Affairs; d. Minister of the Environment and Forestry; e. Minister of Finance; f Minister of National Development Planning/Head of the National Development Planning Agency; and g. Head of Geospatial Information Agency.
The Regulation also states that the Integrated Team should be assisted by the Task Force, which consists of:
Chairperson: Director General of Spatial Use and Land Acquisition Control, Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial Planning/National Land Agency; Secretary: Deputy for Thematic Geospatial Information, Geospatial Information Agency; Members: a. Deputy for Food and Agriculture Coordination, Coordinating Ministry for the Economy; b. Deputy for Coordination of Infrastructure Acceleration and Regional Development, Coordinating Ministry for the Economy; etc.
“The duties, work procedures, and membership of the Integrated Team and the Task Force are determined by Coordinating Minister for the Economy as Chairperson of the Integrated Team,” Article 5 of the Regulation reads.
The Regulation further stipulates that establishment of protected paddy fields map is conducted through: a. verification of paddy fields; b. synchronize the results of verification of paddy fields; and c. establishment of protected paddy fields maps.
The verification of paddy fields is conducted through: a. interpretation of satellite imagery of paddy fields by non-ministerial Government agencies responsible for geospatial information; b. verification of paddy fields data comparing to land and spatial data by the ministry responsible for Government tasks in agrarian/land affairs and spatial planning; c. verification of paddy fields data comparing to irrigation data by the ministry responsible for Government affairs in water resources management; d. verification of paddy fields data comparing to new paddy fields by ministry responsible for Government affairs in agriculture; and e. verification of data on paddy fields inside a forest area by the ministry responsible for Government affairs in forestry.
The results of the verification of paddy fields data, according to the Regulation, are presented in the form of: a. map of paddy fields after verification of land and spatial data; b. map of irrigated paddy fields; and c. map of new paddy fields.
“The aforementioned map should use a scale of 1: 5,000. (3) In the event that the use of a scale of 1: 5,000 cannot be carried out, the map should use a scale of 1: 10,000,” Article 11 paragraph (2,3) of the Regulation reads.
The Regulation also rules that Coordinating Minister for the Economy as the Chairperson of the Integrated Team should submit the proposed map to the minister responsible for Government affairs in the field of agrarian/land and spatial planning to be designated as a protected map of paddy fields.
“The aforementioned protected paddy fields map is used as material for the Central Government and regional governments in accordance with their respective authority to determine sustainable food agricultural land in the regional spatial planning and detailed spatial planning,” Article 16 paragraph (1) of the Regulation reads.
According to the regulation, the paddy fields that have been included in the protected paddy fields map but have not been included as part of sustainable food agricultural land in the spatial plan, cannot be converted without recommendation for land use conversion from the minister responsible for Government affairs in the field of agrarian/land and spatial planning.
The Regulation further states that the Central Government provides grants to regional governments and the community as the incentives for protected paddy fields.
Provision of incentives by the Central Government to regional governments, according to the Regulation, is carried out in the event of: a. there are rice fields in the protected rice field map in regional government area; and/or b. regional government determines the paddy fields included in the protected paddy field map to be part of sustainable food agricultural land.
The provision of incentives by the Central Government to the community is conducted in the event of the community owns and/or manages the paddy fields stipulated in the protected paddy fields map.
“Incentives for the community may be in the form of assistance of: a. agricultural facilities and infrastructure; b. irrigation facilities and infrastructure; c. accelerated land certification; and/or d. other forms in accordance with the provisions of legislation,” article 20 paragraph (2) of the Regulation reads.
According to the Regulation, Coordinating Minister for the Economy as the Chairperson of the Integrated Team should submit a report to the President on the progress of implementation of the activities stipulated in the Presidential Regulation at least once in 6 (six) months or at any time if necessary.
“The Presidential Regulation shall apply as of the date of its promulgation,” Article 27 of the Presidential Regulation reads. The Regulation was promulgated by Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna H. Laoly on 12 September 2019. (Pusdatin/ES)
Translated by: Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Edited by: Yuyu Mulyani