Going into Debts and Losing Money Due to Pandemic

Abrohim, a greengrocer, has lost much of his money because he has not been able to sell all of his vegetables. He has no choice but to throw away their unsold vegetables. Thus, he has lost quite a huge loss.

Abrohim, a greengrocer, taking care of his chilies that he gis looking for chilies in his small garden to increase his merchandise. (ACTNews / Reza Mardhani)

ACTNews, BEKASI - Rice fields and fields still fill Babakan Village, Sukatenang Village, Sukawangi District, Bekasi Regency. On the right and left of the road are filled with vast green views of this village which is only tens of minutes from Bekasi City. So the majority of people's livelihoods are related to agricultural products.

"If this has all the landlords," said Ustaz Agus, a local community leader, pointing to the rice fields in front of him. Usually, people who do not own land then work as traders of agricultural products in the village. This small party is usually referred to as a vegetable stall.

"Usually, vegetable stall sellers look for goods from the farmers from the afternoon and then sell them at the market. If the farmers also have finished their harvest, they will go to auction, vegetable craftsmen with large capital. Only then do they sell at midnight until morning at the market, ”explained Ustaz Agus on Friday (28/8).

Ustaz Agus does not know exactly how many people work as vegetable stall vendors in Babakan Village, but he estimates that there are dozens. The work is also what supports them from day to day. Like Abrohim or who is familiarly called Bang Bro, who has been a vegetable trader for 25 years.

"Can spend IDR 2 million for capital expenditure. Many kinds, mix things up and we buy a little. From kale, spinach, cassava leaves, there are oyong, long beans, pumpkin, ”explained Bang Bro. If all of his merchandise sells, Bang Bro can earn Rp150 thousand to Rp200 thousand net a day. The remaining Rp2 million was rolled back as capital.

But selling isn't always sweet. Bang Bro told me the other day he just threw away kale and spinach because they weren't selling well in the market. Kale and spinach are types of vegetables that wilt easily so they can't last more than one night.

"It's thrown away (if it doesn't sell overnight), because it doesn't last long. Sometimes the capital doesn't come home either. Usually, it is called a business in the market, today it will not run out, it will be finished tomorrow, "said Bang Bro.

For those whose capital really cannot be covered, sometimes they must first owe the capital to the farmers. Later, the traders will promise to pay for the vegetables they get from the farmers after selling them. As did Darman.

Darman is loading merchandise onto his motorbike for him to take to the midnight market. (ACTNews / Reza Mardhani)

"If there is no capital and it runs out, then that's it. Got a profit of IDR 500 thousand, but it still has something to do with the farmer. In the field, it is like that, we take it first, then after we finish selling, we will give the capital money to the farmers, ”explained Darman.

Sometimes the capital that was promised to the farmers was not fully fulfilled. So getting into debt eventually becomes another way. Darman had debts from close relatives to moneylenders, commonly known as bank deprok, to cover his debts.

"There is, but a little (borrowed). We borrow that because we have to. Because if we have traded here and there but are not selling and losing, our capital runs out. If you have no money, where are we going? Yes, that's all (bank deprok) the easiest solution. That is also to cover (capital), so that the farmer is not disappointed, "he said.

With an effort to support the businesses of micro business actors, Global Wakaf - ACT has initiated the Waqf for Micro Business Capital program. This program aims to free micro-entrepreneurs from debt bondage and usury so that the production process and buying and selling transactions are more blessed. Micro entrepreneurs include food producers upstream and small traders downstream.

With the basis of the Qard Al-Hasan system, Waqf for Micro Business Capital has a role in building the commitment of business actors who receive capital, so that the beneficiaries are always determined to build their business to be more advanced and develop. Empowerment is fundamental to reducing poverty.

"The hope is that with this instrument, the community can develop their business even further in this difficult time. Besides, they began to switch and no longer owe to the deprok bank earlier. So we can minimize the burdensome effects of flowers, "said Wahyu Nur Alim from the Global Wakaf Team - ACT.

Wahyu also hopes that benefactors can participate in this program so that small business actors such as those in Babakan Village can run their business more smoothly and of course with more blessings. "We plan to help business actors in Babakan Village, and at the same time invite generous people to help business actors who are currently experiencing difficulties due to capital constraints. With the help of all generous people in the Waqf for Micro Business Capital program, hopefully we can help ease their burden, "Wahyu hoped. []