A Papua jazz singer, Edo Kondologit, deplores the rampant conversion of agricultural land in Bali for construction of tourism accommodation facilities.
“Land in Bali has a very high sale value of both agricultural production and selling to tourists, thus it should be fought for don’t let it finish being converted into housing and hotels,” he said on the sidelines of accompanying the Papua arts ambassador at the Bali Arts Festival (PKB) XXXV in Denpasar.
According to him, the rice fields in Bali has a system that is very rare compared to other regions due to applying technological advances with local knowledge, such as in the village of Jatiluwih, Penebel District, Tabanan regency, there is 303 hectares of agricultural land, but only becomes a major producer of brown rice.
Jatiluwih village at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level was made terraced to offer stunning natural scenery.
This system makes Jatiluwih rice terraces chosen by UNESCO as one of the world’s cultural heritage.
To irrigate an area of 636 hectares in Jatiluwih, it also uses irrigation system named subak or Balinese traditional society -basedirrigation systems.
But Edo believes in Balinese people, especially traditional leaders and artists have thought of that issue to maintain the customs and culture of their ancestral heritage.
Previously, Professor of Udayana University, Prof. Dr. I Wayan Windia stated that rice fields in Bali are in tattered condition due to many land conversion for purposes other than agriculture are difficult to be stoped.
“Even a number of subak in Denpasar, Badung, Gianyar and Tabanan regency vanished because their land has been transformed into residential area and other building,” he said.
According to him, land conversion on some subak, particularly in urban areas cause irrigation facilities cannot function effectively so that it brings negative effect on the irrigation system that has persisted in its function.
Land conversion over the last five years is quite rapidly because each year an average of 1,000 hectares of rice fields turned into residential areas, public facilities, and tourism support facilities.