Future farmer: This little boy is learning early the importance of seed saving for healthy crops.
Ripening stalks whisper in the breeze, their gold heads laden with the rice that feeds a nation. It is a glorious view back-dropped with coconut palms heavy with fruit. However, all is not as it seems.
“Every year the farmers need more chemical fertilizer to grow the rice. This year that small plot needed hundreds of kilos of fertilizer and that will almost double next year,” says IDEP Director Ade Andriawan, adding that idep is a Balinese word for critical thinking.
Over the last two years, rice crops in this seemingly fertile area have failed due to exhausted soils. “Most natural nutrients have been lost, so farmers are dependent on chemical fertilizers,” says Ade.