Growing rice after the bomb
Agriculture, once the mainstay of Balinese economy and culture, has been marginalized during the era of tourism-driven development. The decline in tourism since the bombing in Kuta in 2002 has revealed the vulnerability of an economy narrowly based on tourism and has led to rethinkings of future economic development in which agriculture plays a more important role. These rethinkings take two main forms. One is a top-down model of export-oriented production of cash crops and economies of scale — an international model of agro-industry/business. The other consists of a diversity of small-scale local initiatives for sustainable and/or organic production for local markets. This article examines these alternative visions in terms first of their links to international political economic movements and second of their conceptual and moral bases. It argues that this period is, like the Green Revolution, a critical turning point that will determine the future of the economy and culture of Bali.
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