Peasants as the first hunger

zonautara.com

By: Ica Wulansari

The world will face the worst problem of poverty and hunger. The outbreaks of poverty and hunger due to climate change impact. FAO (2016) has estimated that 1.2 billion people will live in extreme poverty, 900 million live in rural areas and 750 million work in agriculture, most of them are peasants. Ironically that people who work as peasant will be the first victims who get hungry and poor. In fact, Indonesia`s National Bureau of Statistic in February 2017 released data of labour which is work in agriculture, plantation, forestry and fisheries reached the highest number of whole labour in Indonesia at 39.678.453 people.

Climate change will be the most dangerous impact for agriculture due to climate extreme, drought, flood and significant decline of rainfall. Then, it will endanger for loss harvest yield. Ironically, peasants should pay more money for pesticide which they believed as ‘remedy’  as a result of green revolution. In fact, using pesticide will make the pests outbreak to be more resistant and it ironically will has minor efficacy in eradicating the pests. In addition, when peasants suffering of loss yield, they will be in a loneliness without compensation.

Climate Change Impact

Based on climate regime that agriculture activity is the one of greenhouse effect contributor. However, agricultural sector in developing countries is generally not part of industry. Agricultural sector is related closely with rural society as their main livelihood.

In developing countries, peasant has subsistence with limited farm land less than 2 hectares then they are indicated as poor people. Unfortunately, they do not get benefit properly from their production due to market mechanism and less good policy to make them prosperous. The worse part of it, aside from poverty, peasants have a serious threat from climate change that is harmful for their livelihood.

Saving the peasants from climate change impact should be the most priorities of the development agenda. The idea of adaptation strategy has generally focus on agriculture production, such as agriculture technology, adjustment of cropping period and financial assistance from donor. Meanwhile, adaptation strategy has less attention to support peasants to be resilience.

Adaptation strategy should be prefer bottom-up approach that it will produce and develop new knowledge and learning from the peasants. The most critical issue that they are become marginal due to strengthening of general perception that they are powerless and uneducated.

Then, the compatible agenda for agriculture sector in developing countries is not concentrated to reduce the emission, yet to empowering peasants from absolute poverty trap.

Today, many Peasants have more eliminated by land grabbing or agrarian issue that will destroy traditional farming. Traditional farming stand for simple purpose to feed peasants and their family. Sadly, they have to sell their harvest yield with minimum price without having benefits for their need then they will be the first person to be hunger.

ICA WULANSARI:Freelance writer and Doctorate student of Sociology Studies at Padjadjaran University, Bandung, Indonesia.

Editor: Ronny A. Buol

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