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Environmental impact from agrochemicals in Bali (Indonesia)

Abstract

Irrigation of paddy has been practised for centuries in Bali, based on the use of upland weirs for diverting river waters to irrigate downstreams lands ranging from upland terraces to flat coastal plains. While in earlier times, traditional irrigation practices have met the island's food needs, in recent decades an increasing population has increased food requirements to levels surpassing the productivity of traditional methods. Government assistance programs were initiated beginning in about 1960, and a major new program, called the Bali Irrigation Project, is now being implemented. These programs recognize that little additional farm lands will be available, hence their objective is to increase productivity through intensified agriculture, including the use of high-yield rice varieties and increasing amounts of agricultural chemicals, including both fertilizers and pesticides. The feasibility study for the Bali Irrigation Project included an evaluation of the pollutional effects of agricultural chemicals used in Bali. The study showed that past use of ‘hard’ organochlorides has pervasively polluted the island's soil and water resources and, while the Government's programs now use only relatively degradable chemicals, considerable environmental damage has already occurred and much care will be needed in avoiding the use of hard toxics in the future. The study also indicated no adverse effects from increased use of fertilizers.

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Machbub, B., Ludwig, H.F. & Gunaratnam, D. Environmental impact from agrochemicals in Bali (Indonesia). Environ Monit Assess 11, 1–23 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00394508

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Keywords

  • Indonesia
  • Coastal Plain
  • Rice Variety
  • Bali
  • Farm Land