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How You Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm?

Bali to Legislate Conservation of Rice Fields and Agricultural Lands

(1/30/2012) Beginning in 2013, the provincial government of Bali plans to introduce laws to preserve and protect agricultural lands on the island. The proposed new provincial rules are a continuance of Law Number 41 of 2009 regarding the protection of agricultural lands.

As reported by BeritaBali.com, the head of the Agricultural and Food Crops Service for Bali, Putra Suryawan, told the press that that the steps will provide protection for an estimated 81,900 hectares of productive farm lands. He also stated that with this amount of land under active cultivation Bali would be able to be self-sufficient in rice.

"If we protect all this land now, this proves we can preserve the current surplus in rice. However, if we continue with the tolerances provided for in the provincial law Number 16 or 2009 on zoning (RTRWP) that allow a 10% change in land use for 20 years that would result in only 810 hectares of agricultural land remaining in 20 years time," explained Suryawan.

Putra Suryawan added that if the provincial regulations to preserve agricultural lands is implemented, Bali will also provide incentives for rice field owners to encourage them to keep their lands. Current data from the Agricultural and Food Crops Service shows that the loss of rice fields has shrunk to 140 hectares each year. This is down from a previous high of 200 hectares of rice fields being diverted annually from agricultural pursuits.