ALTERNATIVE POLICIES TO STRENGTHEN THE TRADITIONAL IRRIGATION SYSTEM FOR SUPPORTING THE FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM:
Case of the Subaks’ System in Bali, Indonesia
Irrigation water is very important for the agricultural sector, especially rice farming. Scarcity of water could influence the production of rice and land conversion which give an impact to the achievement of food security program. Rice farming activities in Bali province are fully managed under the subak system. The objectives of this study are to describe the roles of subak system as a traditional irrigation system in supporting the food security program, and to give recommendations to government in strengthening subak system to sustain its roles. There are 48 subaks scattered within 4 regencies selected as samples. Data were analysed by using descriptive method. The results of study pointed out that subaks have philosophy of tri hita karana which is used as a guide for the water management. In term of food security program, subaks have played specific roles for the water distribution and allocation; the mobilization of resources for operation and maintenance; the fund raising, the conflict management; and the ritual performances. It is very important to recommend for the government in order subaks could strengthen their roles for the food security program. These recommendations consist of (i) the provision of subsidy for agricultural inputs and equipment; (ii) strengthening capacities of subaks in terms of agricultural technology and management and organization; (iii) the price control of rice produced by farmers; (iv) the provision of subsidy for irrigated land tax or tax exemption; (v) the guarantee of irrigation water availability; and (vi) the control of irrigated land conversion.