In response to the government’s program to build the capacity of transmigrant communities from Java who generally did not have the knowledge and experience of oil palm farming, Asian Agri, one of the national palm oil companies, participated in the development of smallholders through the Government Transmigration Program (PIR – Trans).
Transmigrants had no permanent jobs in their origin village when they initially joined the government transmigration program (PIR – Trans). In order to fulfill their daily needs, they decided to partner with Asian Agri. In the midst of a new cultural and environmental adaptation, they only hoped that in the future, palm oil would be able to improve their standard of living and family dignity.
Sukirman and Turiyah, a husband and wife from Purbalingga, West Java, dared to register as transmigrants to Sumatra Island in 1990. They were discouraged because they were called outcasts, both of them were determined to change lives better in new places that they imagined as wilderness. Their perseverance and patience yielded results that exceeded their initial expectations of becoming oil palm farmers.
A deep impression was explained by Markun and his wife, Soimah. The family of an oil palm smallholder in Tidar Kuranji Village, Maro Sebo Ilir District, Batanghari Regency, Jambi turned around from his job as a smallholder laborer in Purwokerto, Central Java. The man who was born in 1963 finally ventured to try his luck with his wife and two children in 1995 by joining the transmigration program. Markun never thought to have his own land when he joined the transmigration program.