Bulletin 20 October 2014
Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset
District 3420 / No. 79571
Meeting every Monday at 5:30 PM at Maya Ubud Resort, Ubud
“Speak the truth do not become angered and give when asked, even be it a little. By these three conditions one goes to the presence of the gods.” ― Gautama Buddha
Bulletin October 20, 2014
Members: Philip, Bruce, Sue, Ros, Glenn, Danielle, Rich, Allan, Rucina
Guests: Karen Lewis, Anne Marie, Chakra, Wayan Rakuran, Mary Lee, Annie Harold, and Sally Harold.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, CORRESPONDENCE, REPORTS
President Philip opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and introducing our guests, including Karen Lewis, who has recently moved to Ubud and joining us for the second time.
PP Rosalind confirmed that the 2nd Annual Christmas Fundraising Buffet Dinner will take place this year on Dec. 14 at Maya Resort and Spa in Ubud. It will be a super sumptuous spread, as only the Maya can do, with a special Children’s Caroling Chorus entertaining. More information about Raffle prizes to come.
VP Rucina showed us a video about the recent Bali Protest event which pulled in an audience of 8,000 people. Rucina guessed that everyone with a tattoo on the island was there to protest a destructive giant development project in Benoa Bay (http://bali-news-views.blogspot.com/2014/08/bali-news-opposition-to-benoa.html).
Philip reported on the Meeting with Colin Burns of RCB Como – attended by Pres. Philip, Wayan Rus and PP Marilyn. They explored ways to do projects together, and one idea was to combine Educare with a project to bring in water and hygiene education.
Allan won the raffle prize, a dvd donated by Rucina, with music by Bali’s best bands.
Our guest speaker was Wayan Rakuran, Head of Sawa Bali,
The foundation was founded by an American, Phyllis Kaplan, with the goal of conserving Bali’s precious lands and protecting them from uncontrolled development, and providing farmers with solutions to make farming economically viable, including organic farming and aquaculture (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaculture), which have much higher returns.
Bali is experiencing developmental threats everywhere, which will affect the lives of everyone. Farmers make a meager living and their children don’t want to continue as farmers.
In 1990, the first person in Wayan’s village sold land to a foreigner. He could see the effects on the people. Now it is becoming a serious problem in Bali.
Presently, Sawa Bali is implementing a Pilot Program in the village of Bunutan, where they are working with 135 farmers over an area of 47 hectares. In several meetings with subak farmers, the farmers have agreed to go organic, grow traditional rice, and also do multicrop plantings.
Volunteer Annie Harold, has made a beautiful movie showing a successful farming business in Bali. A week ago, Sawa Bali got 100% support from the Bupati (head) of Gianyar regency, and also the Agriculture department.
Pak Cakra explained the project in a bit more detail. He is the one who will work directly with the farmers. He has been working with farmers since 2007 using SRI (System of Rice Intensification). Farmers who own their land, only make an average of 25,000 ($2.25) rupiah per day! SRI looks at the situation to see what expenses can be minimized to get a larger return. He also recommends they add aquaculture, which has a much higher return.
How much water does the aquaculture take? It is designed to use the subak water, which constantly flows into the fish “pond” to which the fish add nutrients to the water and then it can also fertilize the crops below.
They are now working with the Udayana University to identify the areas that are best candidates for sustainable farming projects. This pilot is 10 kilometers from Ubud.
How many subaks have we lost in the last 20 years? Data says lost 400-1000 hectares have been lost per year, depending on the year. An average farmer has about 15 hectares per farmer.
Annie talked about Agrotourism, a strategy to encourage young Balinese to continue to work as farmers.
WOOFing ( World Organisation of Organic Farming) programs are being held in many countries and Sawa Bali wants to initiate similar programs in Bali . Volunteers get room and board for 36 hours of work per week. Start by opening up a few compounds, foreign students would pay a bit, and also work in the fields. Also, hopefully encouraging young people to get interested in farming again. Their other activities are a comedy drama about what would happen if all the farmers sold their land, and making a graphic novel.
Wayan Rakuran ended by emphasizing the urgency of this project.