Thursday, January 16th, 2020, focused group discussion on the Tanah Kas Desa/TKD (Village Treasury Land) governance in Kebumen District was held in the Podoluhur Village Office hall. Attended by the Head of Dinas Pemberdayaan Masyarakat Desa/Dispermades-P3A (the District Agency for Village Community Empowerment), representatives from Bappeda (the District Agency for Development Planning), representatives from Bagian Tata Pemerintahan (the District Agency for Governance Section), and representatives from Klirong sub-district. Also, representatives from the village government, village council (Badan Permusyawaratan Desa/BPD), and women and youth representatives from six villages (Podoluhur, Kritig, Sidomulyo, Bonoworo, Sinungrejo, and Kalibeji village).

This discussion is part of the village treasury land management assessment in six villages in Kebumen District. The assessment was organized by AKATIGA Bandung and FORMASI (Forum Masyarakat Sipil) Kebumen. This assessment aims to encourage improvements in TKD governance policies that are more priority to the poor, women, and youth. The access of TKD is expected to increase employment opportunities for youth in agriculture.

Yusuf Murtiono (Presidium of FORMASI) conveyed the results of the assessment that the governance of TKD in the form of Tanah Bengkok, is relatively uniform, as an incentive for the Village Head, Village Secretary, and other village officials. While TKD in the form of Tanah Kemakmuran (village prosperity land), is allocated for Village Community Institutions (LKD), BPD, customary officials, and those intended for the general public. However, Sidomulyo Village and Kritig Village have allocated village prosperity land for the poor and youth (Sidomulyo Village).

Frans Haidar, Head of Dispermades – P3A, supports the improvement of TKD governance policies that are more priority for the poor and youth. He said, “Innovation in managing TKD is done as an effort to overcome poverty in the village and is aimed at the welfare of its citizens. The governance must go through the village meetings (Musyawarah Desa) and must be transparent. The representatives of Bagian Tata Pemerintahan and Bappeda also conveyed their support. According to them, improvement of TKD governance must be supported by good data availability through the identification and inventory of all village assets including the TKD.

Representatives of young groups from the villages of Kritig and Podoluhur also expressed their opinions. They conveyed about the youth needs to be allowed by the village government to be more involved in the village development agenda, not just on the Independence Day celebration. Particularly, youth involvement in TKD management will be a solution to overcome the crisis of farmers’ regeneration and open up potential employment opportunities in the agricultural sector for them.

The encouragement from the Kebumen District government, and the aspirations of the youth are taken into consideration for the six villages government representatives to improve the quality of TKD governance in their village. However, the village representatives conveyed the various obstacles they faced to make changes to the TKD governance. Among them are related to the differences in the wide of TKD in each village, the dependence on village prosperity land rent funds for village operational needs, and the existence of a custom-based governance system.

From these challenges, this discussion proposes the formulation of a district-level regulation as a general guideline in regulating the governance of TKD that is more open, especially for the poor and the youth. Regarding technical management, it will be deepened through research that is currently underway, but it will certainly refer to each village given the different local context conditions.

From this discussion, it is hoped that there will be an exchange of information from each village regarding the management of TKD. Also, it is hoped that there will be commitment and collaboration of various parties in realizing general guidelines for TKD governance in Kebumen District.