Land Ownership in Sulawesi




Land Ownership in Sulawesi

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Land Ownership in Sulawesi

Sulawesi is an attractive region in central Indonesia. The area has been popular for its unique cultural activities and different economic policies. Geographically, the region is considered as large as Great Britain, but has a very small population of people. It is also noted that 80% of the population are Muslims while the rest 20% are evenly distributed among other religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, and Confucianism among others. Sulawesi contains only 7% of the entire Indonesias population and 10% of the countrys land. The majority of the people living in the area are small-scale farmers, while a few practice in other fields. However, most individuals in the region live in poverty due to the lack of economic resources to enhance their lives. For example, small-scale farmers rarely produce enough food for the surrounding population. Sulawesi consists of four provinces with different levels of economic growth, education, and population. The land ownership system has been widely regarded as the leading cause of a high poverty level in the region. Land ownership issues have also reduced the regions capability of producing enough quantity of food for both domestic consumption and export. The given essay seeks to discuss how capitalist regulations of land ownership and access to land have dispossessed different groups of people in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

One of the factors that have affected land ownership and access in Sulawesi is the respective land ownership policies in the region. The majority of the local people view the aspect of owning land as a factor that brings respect and pride. Land is considered as a vital asset traditionally; hence, owning a piece of it is everyones plan. Therefore, people find it difficult to sell or transfer a given piece of land to a third party due to their traditional beliefs and attitudes to land. These incidents happen despite the ability of the owner to use the land productively. Since the majority of small scale-farmers in the region are poor, they cannot produce enough quantity of food to feed the urban population as well as for export. Technically, it is due to the lack of modern farming equipment and fertilizers due to high poverty levels. However, decisions not to sell or transfer land to the interested third parties, most of whom are middle-class citizens, also affects them. Moreover, it denies them an opportunity to produce enough quantity even if they have necessary resources (Li, 2014).

An increase in capitalist landowners who deny a small minority middle class access to their land to facilitate production affects the region negatively. One of these effects is a gap between the rich and the poor. For instance, economically active citizens are forced to live in the nearby urban centers, while the poor remain in their lands where they continue practicing small-scale farming. The regions agricultural potential is also wasted, as capitalist property owners cannot utilize their land for optimum production. Being a highland surrounded by several rain forests, the region is capable of producing high-quality rice, sugar canes, and horticultural products eligible for exports. The attitude to farmland ownership has also affected the region by promoting primitive traditions among farmers. The belief that the ownership of a farm in the area enhances ones dignity continues to render the farming community as poor despite a high agricultural potential of the area (Li, 2014).

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Capital regulations created by the indigenous people from the highland were intended to privatize their common land and affected the population differently. Most individuals in Sulawesi made a decision to plant cacao, which is a boom plant in the region. The majority of the indigenous people decided to end isolation and poverty among their family members. However, various groups of persons were dispossessed of their land in different ways, majorly, due to debts, failure to privatize and land sales. Some succeeded to retain land, while others failed and continued to languish in poverty. New land ownership policies brought about more hatred and disagreements among the highlanders as both the beneficiary and the looser were neighbors and kin, but not strangers. The latter developed hatred towards the former as the results did not meet their expectations. New capitalist policies hindered many people from creating collective farms to produce more food.

Communities in this region have never been modern despite various technological advancements and the adoption of universal education globally. Most of the farmers in the area still practice farming using traditional techniques that cannot produce food in large quantities. The indigenous people also observe their ancient traditions strictly. The minority who practices fishing in the region uses traditional canoes in their daily activities despite significant advancements in the fishing industry. However, one of the major reasons why communities in Sulawesi have failed to modernize is isolation. Sulawesi has remained one of the regions with a very scarcely distributed population in Indonesia. The area contains extensive indigenous forests and mountainous landscapes that have limited access to the area from the outside world. High poverty levels have also played an important role in the failure of Sulawesi to modernize. Traditional beliefs and attitudes, especially, to land ownership, have jeopardized the regions economic development and the lack of enough resources to support social development such as modern education.

In conclusion, the capitalist relations to land ownership and access remain one of the major challenges affecting the Sulawesi area in Indonesia. The belief that farmland ownership enhances ones social status in terms of respect and honor has played an important role in improving poverty. A high level of poverty among inhabitants is among the major reasons why communities in the region have failed to modernize.

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