Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika is urging hotels and restaurants in Bali to use local agricultural produce in the preparation of food for the island's visitors.
Quoted by the national news agency Antara, the head of the public relations department of the Bali Provincial Government, I Ketut Teneng, said: "The utilization of local farm products is very import to supporting the program of revitalization of the agricultural sector now underway by local government." Teneng said that the hundreds of starred hotels and restaurants in Bali should use local agricultural products instead of imported goods. The purchase of local produce will prove vital in raising the standard of living of farmers who have traditionally encountered problems in marketing their outputs.
Teneng continued, "governor Pastika, in his efforts to revitalize agriculture, has already urged farmer to use organic fertilizers in order to create products that are environmentally friendly." The governor has also promoted the planting of high-quality seeds and the use of labor-friendly technology, hoping that Bali's farmers will be able to generate produce of a standard that will meet local market demand.
Teneng reminded that any revitalization of Bali's agricultural sector requires the support of several sectors of society, including the tourism industry, who can purchase local agricultural products for presentation to tourist visitors.
Commenting separately, a leading professor of agriculture at Bali's Udayana University, Professor Dr I Wayan Windia, said that Bali, as a fast-developing tourism destination, has a real opportunity to develop its agricultural, animal husbandry and fisheries industries. Professor Windia explained that, while Bali was a small island, there is still the opportunity to create quality agricultural products with a high economic value capable of improving the income of people working outside the tourism sector. He added that Bali was currently only achieving about 70% of its agricultural production potential.
Windia went on to explain that despite the limited amount of agricultural land available in Bali, the subak traditional irrigation system is vital to maximizing the island's farming potential. Similarly, the animal husbandry sector presents great potential for meeting the high demand for meat, milk and eggs products to feed island residents and visiting tourists.
According to Windia, these conditions represent both the challenges and the great opportunity inherent in maximizing Bali's agricultural sector.
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