Tue, 30 Aug 1994

Kedung Ombo farmers excel

BENGKULU, Bengkulu: Central Javanese farmers from Kedung Ombo who were resettled here have been nominated to win this year's national award as role model transmigrants.

The 206 families from Kedung Ombo, who are now working the land in Seluma Kiri Transmigration Site in southern Bengkulu, have been nominated for the award because they excel over transmigrants from other areas, the Antara news agency said.

Ragil Sugiman, the chief of the Bengkulu Transmigration Office, said the farmers had a better understanding of the way the local government is run, a higher sense of discipline, and are diligent tilling the land.

Kedung Ombo became infamous when some 60,000 families were displaced by the construction of the Kedung Ombo reservoir. The ensuing dispute became a controversy which resurfaced throughout the mid-1980s when some of the farmers resisted and fought for better compensation. Eventually, most of the farmers agreed to resettle, some joining the government's transmigration program. (emb)