FAO Director General Qu Dongyu Visits Bali

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Editor

Laila Afifa

4 October 2022 23:54 WIB

FAO Director General Qu Dongyu in Jatiluwih Rice Terrace with Ministry of Agriculture Secretary General DR .IR Kasdi Subagiono (FAO/Eko Prianto)

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Bali as a global popular tourist destination often faces the challenges of water scarcity, which threaten the livelihoods of the local population. Bali farmers, in particular, are facing the complexity of these problems in their day-to-day lives. At the same time, Bali also faces the challenges of endemic Rabies that threatens the lives of tourists and the local population.

Sustaining the lives, livelihoods, and tourism in Bali, therefore, requires a holistic approach, and this was one of the themes of the field visit on the last day of the G20 Agriculture Ministerial Meeting in Bali. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) director-general Qu Dongyu, in September 2022, visited a UNESCO world heritage in Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, and interacted with the local officials and farmers.

FAO Director General Qu Dongyu enjoys Mangosteens with the farmers in Jatiluwih (FAO/Eko Prianto)

Jatiluwih Rice Terrace in Tabanan district in Bali is a reflection of the Balinese philosophy of Tri Hita Karana and Tri Mandala that maintain the harmonious relationships between the Gods, humans, and the environment --including animals and plants.

The rice fields have been applying an irrigation system called ‘Subak’ for centuries, which requires harmonious cooperation among different farmers, especially for water management.  The hundred-old philosophy and practices have resulted in a stunning scene of huge rice fields.

FAO Director General Qu Dongyu joins women farmers in a preparation of ritual dancing before starting pounder the rice (FAO/Eko Prianto)

FAO DG, together with a few other G20 ministers of agricultures and officials, enjoyed the scenery of the beautiful rice field, interacted with farmers and local officials, and tasted locally produced Balinese tropical produces, such as coconut, banana, organic coffee, and mangosteens. The DG also joined a group of women farmers' ritual performances of dancing and singing followed by rice pounding with the female farmers.

Real-time mobile application as a solution to farmers' problem

The FAO DG then visited the FAO project on e-agriculture showcasing the use of mobile phone applications under the FAO flagship Digital Village Initiatives (DVI) program.  FAO DG witnessed the demonstration of the mobile application and dashboard system to gather real-time and comprehensive data from on-farm activities in the area.

The mobile application assisted extension workers in collecting integrated data from the field in collaboration with the coffee producers in Pajahan, Bali and rice farmers in Yogyakarta, Central Java. The collected data is connected directly with the Agricultural War Room (AWR), a digital control room at the Ministry of Agriculture in Jakarta, monitoring the farmers' work and the situation at the central level.

FAO Director General Qu Dongyu listens to the explanation of mobil app for extension workers (FAO/Eko Prianto)

FAO has also assisted the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture in developing a comprehensive National E-Agriculture Strategy, which focuses on guiding agriculture data integration to enhance digital agriculture in the country.

To conclude his field visit to Bali, FAO DG Qu Dongyu visited a mass Rabies vaccination in a village hall, at the Balai Banjar Belah, Luwus Village and participated in the World Rabies Day celebration together with the Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture. He interacted with the local Balinese veterinarians and the school children.

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