The Indonesian Farmers Association for Bali (HKTI-Bali) is calling on tourism businesses, especially hotels, to be required to absorb 100% of local farm products.
Professor Dr. I Nyoman Suparta, the chairman of HKTI-Bali told Bali Post: “They (the hotels) import a great deal from overseas, but we in Bali also have an agricultural sector that must be protected. One way to do this is by absorbing Bali’s farm produce.”
Suparta claims that the tourism sector in Bali only manages to absorb 50-60% of the products produced by Bali’s farmers.
Bali’s tourism sector, however, does manage to absorb 80% of the poultry and eggs produced on the Island.
“We want that 100% of the (tourism’s) need for agricultural products be taken from local farmers. It should not be like the current situation where many locally produced agricultural products remain unused. For instance, we have a high production level of local beef,” explained Suparta.
Suparta called on the tourism sector not to take cover by citing the weaknesses of Bali’s farming sector. Adding: “I am not anti-import, but we must think more about how to make agriculture and livestock profitable and productive.”
An agricultural expert from Bali’s Udayana University, Putu Anom, said that contracts for the mandatory use of local agricultural products can be made between the Island’s tourism sector and HKTI-Bali, supported by government regulations. Anom added: “Tourists holidaying in Bali also feel deprived, complled to eat products imported from their home countries. Tourism operators must take note. Why not use local produce and fruit in accordance with their seasonality?”
Anom insists that foreign tourists visiting Bali come in search of new flavors and experiences not available in their home country. This curiosity, he adds, extends not only to cuisine, but also includes matters of accommodation, fruits and produce.
Saying that there is great potential for the absorption of local agricultural products, Anom said: “(Use of local products) needs to be supported by regulations limiting the importation of fruit, vegetables and meats. The province needs to make rules requiring the purchase of local agriculture and limiting the use of imported products.”
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