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The Marginalization of Bali's Farmers

Bali Business Leader Suggest Bali Farmers Move to Other Islands to Accommodate Rapid Growth of Tourism Sector.

(2/19/2011) The growing threat to Bali's agricultural heritage was recently highlighted by a statement from the head of the Indonesian Entrepreneurs Association (APINDO) declaring that Bali is no longer a suitable location for farming activities. In the view of a Balinese business leader, apparently Bali is becoming too crowded for the Balinese who should now be prepared to move on and make more room for tourist activities.

Quoted in Beritabali.com, the chairman of APINDO, Panundiana Khun, said that the diminishing amount of land available for agriculture in Bali means the government should undertake a large program of transmigration, moving Balinese farmers to other areas of Indonesia, such as Kalimantan.

"If these are only simple farmers, why don't we just transmigrate them to Kalimantan? In Kalimantan one hectare of land costs only two million rupiah. You can even ask for it for free. East Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and West Kalimantan is mostly full of Javanese. The local population is only 30 percent," explained Khun.

Panaudiana Khun added that while some agriculture can continue to be developed in Bali, that activity should only be to complement tourism. Agriculture in Bali, in the view of Khun, will only become in the future one element in a total Balinese tour package.