Ship Balinese Farmers to Borneo Jungle, Says Jobs Chief

DENPASAR

Environmental pressures and changing land use means that Bali is no longer suitable for agricultural development, and farmers should consider emigrating to other parts of the archipelago, according to an industry chief.

Speaking in Renon, Denpasar, the head of the Indonesian Employers Association (APINDO) in Bali, Panundiana Khun, described the island as “unsuitable for agriculture.” He suggested that the government should impose encouraged transmigration programs on farmers.

Indonesia’s controversial transmigration policy began under Dutch colonial rule, and continued into the second half of the 20th Century, with poor residents from densely populated Java and Bali shipped out to less developed parts of Indonesia, particularly Sumatra and Kalimantan, the Indonesian section of the island of Borneo. Transmigration has been associated with environmental problems and social strife in the past.

“If they (Balinese farmers) are only working as sharecroppers, then why not ship them out to Kalimantan? Over there a hectare of jungle only costs Rp2 million (US$224). You might as well give it to them for free,” Khun said, adding that transmigrant populations accounted for most of the inhabitants of Kalimantan.

“Locals only make up about 30 percent of the population,” he said.

Khun said that some continued agricultural activities would always be necessary in Bali, but only in the interests of tourism.  Traditional agricultural landscapes were one of Bali’s tourism assets, he said.

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4 Responses to “Ship Balinese Farmers to Borneo Jungle, Says Jobs Chief”

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  2. purba Says:

    That khun is simply arrogant prick! (i am sorry for my language, that is the only word i could find).

    I believe tourism in Bali developed like what we see now because of those vast farms, nice beaches, traditional cultures, women, men and kids line up in Balinese Hindu dress, Colourful fruits, the pleasing scent produced from the burning incense.

    Tell khun to move to Kalimantan instead and build tourism there, i wouldn’t be surprised when i see his head on one of those fences.

  3. dave Says:

    My inlaws would be very surprisedto know their land isnt suitable for agriculture….
    I understand theres not a lot of farming in Renon, Denpasar, Sanur, Kuta or many of the tourist areas…
    As i sit here on my balcony in Suwung, i can see many many hectares of padi Bali(not grown for tourists)Look on Google Earth and see what i mean.
    Maybe this idiot should go north and see the real Bali, better still, go back to Java,and take all the rest of your mates with you as well.

  4. Gurkha Says:

    I’m sure the Dyaks will be thrilled, as will be the environmentalists who are trying to preserve the jungle!

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