GUIDE TO BALINESE AGRICULTURE - Jumena Komang
Rice Terraces

A long dry season with lots of hot sunshine combined with copious rainfall and numerous mountain springs and rivers, makes Bali one of the most productive agricultural areas on earth. The most important crop is wet-rice and much of the culture and myths have developed around rice as the important social force. Rice is after all their main food. The picture shows some typical rice terraces. They rotate rice with cash crops such as peanuts, soya beans, chili peppers, tapioca and corn. Jumena will explain the cropping, the field controls, and most importantly, the role of the farmer that controls the water.

Cloves in road

Jumena was born to an agricultural life; his village of Banyuatis to the North of Bali specialises in growing cloves, and the picture on the right shows cloves drying in the road near his village and Jumena showing the growing cloves on the tree.

Different areas have specialities, and other crops grown are Balinese coffee, some tobacco, cloves and vanilla. When a child in his village, Jumena had a very important role; his father trained him how to pollinate the flowers of the vanilla to create the pods. (When vanilla was introduced to the Spice Islands from Mexico, they forgot to import the insect that naturally pollinates the flowers. This is one reason why vanilla is so expensive, each flower is pollinated by hand! ) To the East of Bali is the area where they grow salak, a very special fruit.

And, of course, there are the coconut palm trees, known as "tree of life" because they are utilised from the root to the tip. Providing, fuel, roofing, food, drink and structural materials.

Jumena knows most of the "English" names for the plants, but not the latin. So for yourEnglish speaking guide to explore this varied agriculture, choose Jumena Komang.
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