How Are You Going to Keep them Down on the Farm?
Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster’s Administration is placing emphasis on the Island’s Agricultural Sector.
Quoted by Beritabali.com, Koster said: “My vision is to manage both upstream and downstream production. For this, we genuinely need the expertise of culinary experts.”
The Governor’s comments were made at a gala dinner in conjunction with the 16th Asian Food Conference 2019 held in Bali in October.
The Governor of Bali admitted that current government policies had focused on upstream projects. Clarifying: “But the results were unsatisfactory. The season for oranges, mangosteen, and grapes - all prices fall during harvest time. Farmers are rnedered less prosperous. This needs to be thoroughly addressed.”
The Governor insists that the policies set forth in Gubernatorial Decree Number 99 of 2018 on the utilization and management of agricultural products needs the support of experts. "We need to cooperate with food experts to develop the food processing industry and create food processing centers," said Koster.
Governor Koster explained that the contribution of the agriculture and food sector is only 14.5 percent of Bali's total income, where the dominant tourism sector now secures a 69 percent share of the economy.
Governor Koster announced that he would invite experts to discuss and find solutions for the Island’s food sector. "Slowly, we will shift our dependency from tourism to other primary sectors, such as agriculture. "In this regard,” the Governor said, “of the total 4.2 million residents of Bali, 60 percent should find employment as farmers so that they will have an economic foundation for the long term.”
Prof. Umar Santoso, president of The Federation of the Institute of Food Science and Technology in ASEAN (FIFSTA), said: "The exchange rate of farmers' commodity yields is still small. It is necessary for the downstream agriculture sector to develop the food sector in Bali."
Prof. Umar said he was ready to support the Governor's program to strengthen the agriculture and food sector, starting from post-harvest, nutrition, processing, to food distribution.