Waqf-Based Rice Barn Supports National Food Security

Waqf-Based Rice Barn serves to solve the problems of the community, i.e. poverty and food insecurity.

Jipang villagers receive rice sacks from the Waqf-Based Rice Barn. (ACTNews/Muhajir Arif Rahmani)

ACTNews, BLORA – Aksi Cepat Tanggap uses its humanitarian vehicles to deliver staple food to support fellow Indonesians who are in dire need. The food aid is often supplied from the Waqf-Based Food Barn (LPW) under the auspices of Global Wakaf-ACT. As an endeavor to strengthen food security in Indonesia, Global Wakaf is now launching the Waqf-Based Rice Barn (LBW) on Wednesday (12/4).

Ahyudin, the Chairperson of the ACT Board of Trustees revealed that the Waqf-Based Rice Barns aims to solve the problems of the community, including poverty and food insecurity. Poverty is a major problem in this country, coupled with the country's economic conditions that have not improved, making it difficult for some people to fulfill their daily needs, especially food.

"Waqf-Based Rice Barn is one of our masterpiece programs to mobilize the sympathy of the community to overcome food insecurity on one side, supported by the Humanity Rice Truck and Humanity Food Truck on the other side. We want to continue to educate the public about productive waqf management systems for farmers to improve the economy," said Ahyudin. LBW functions as a rice provider for humanitarian programs, such as post-disaster emergency needs or to be distributed to the poor.

LBW has a warehouse and rice production equipment to process quality rice from farmers in Blora. LBW' also aims to empower local farmers. The presence of LBW itself is the result of the productive management of the waqf assets that are endowed to Global Wakaf as an administrator.

Global Wakaf-ACT launched Wakaf-Based Rice Barn in Blora on Wednesday (12/4). (ACTNews / Reza Mardhani)

Until now, the program has been managed by the majority of small farmers in Jipang Village. The majority of the 2,200 population of the village are farm laborers with the condition that are mostly unemployed after harvest season. Through this program, farmers in Jipang Village no longer need to sell their rice to middlemen. The price of the rice is set according to the agreement between the LPW management and the farmers.

ACT Program Director Wahyu Novyan added, the existence of LPW as the parent program of the LBW seeks to improve the welfare of the farmers through several stages. "There are several steps that we undertake. First, the provision of agricultural land. The food waqf tries to keep the land from being converted to anything other than agricultural lands with the guarantee of the waqf. Second, we buy crops above the market price so to give more profits to the farmers. Third, we provide assistance to farmers, such as a seed standardization, land management, crop planting and maintenance, and postharvest processing. Fourth, the establishment of the Village Waqf Self-Sustenance Board (LKWD). In addition, we also provide a rice processing plants in the form of rice hullers & driers," he concluded.

According to data from the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning, in the last six years (2013-2018) total amount of rice fields in Indonesia has declined significantly for 8.32% or around 645 thousand hectares. Additionally, the amount of new rice fields in 2014-2018 is only around 215 thousand hectares. According to the data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), the total amount of agricultural lands in 2018 was only 7.1 million hectares compared to the amount of agricultural lands in 2017 that was 7.75 million hectares. Meanwhile, Indonesia ranked 73 in the world with a serious hunger problem with 10.8 million people living in extreme poverty. Additionally, 2019 sees the increase of food prices for 2.02%.

The above conditions can threaten national food security. For this reason, in order to maintain food availability and prevent land use change, Global Wakaf - ACT has pioneered the establishment of the Waqf-Based Food Barn (LPW) as the parent program of the Waqf-Based Rice Barn (LBW). LPW uses waqf to empower by maintaining the yields and the sustainability of the lands so that it cannot be converted for other functions.

Residents of Blora obtained rice donation from the Waqf-Based Rice Barn through the Humanity Rice Truck. (ACTNews / Muhajir Arif Rahmani)

With 98 hectares of land in Blora, the Waqf-Based Rice Barn will support several food distribution programs such as Rice for Indonesian Santri (BERISI) program to meet the needs of Islamic boarding schools, Humanity Rice Truck that will distribute rice to poor families, Humanity Food Truck that is ready to provide meal packages to poor communities, as well as to be sold in the Waqf Retail Shops.

During the launching, LBW distributed 5 tons of rice to 1,000 underprivileged residents in Jipang Village, Cepu Subdistrict, Blora Regency. This rice aid was welcomed positively by Jipang Villagers. []