Jatiluwih Red Rice

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Jatiluwih Red Rice

This outing gave exposure to the vital importance of red rice production in the area of Jatiluwih (central Bali), including why this area, as a Living Cultural Landscape, was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012.

Jatiluwih Red Rice

The Culture & Cultivation of Living Cultural Heritage

Saturday, May 17, 2014

08:30 – 14:30

(leaving Jatiluwih at 14:30 to return home)

The Slow Food Bali field trip to the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces was guided by Grace M. Tarjoto, who owns a rice mill in Jatiluwih, and is working closely with local farmers to promote and distribute Jatiluwih red rice.  The Jatiluwih rice terraces are said to be some of the best-preserved in the Balinese subak system, as profiled in the UNESCO inscription.

The subak is an intricate management system of water distribtuion, demonstrating close interaction between man and nature.  Water for irrigation comes from numerous natural springs, that flow out from various points, throughout the subak system Natural springs, earmarked with special water temples, or “tirta bhet gedong”, contribute to the volume of  irrigation water for the rice paddies below, flowing through small water channels called “parit”.  Farmers give respect to the springs through a variety of offerings and rituals, recognizing the continuity of life and food production, and demonstrating the unified spirit of cooperation and preservation for this ancient water management system.

This outing to Jatiluwih procided an opportunity to understand the philosophical concept of “Tri Hita Karana” which is the basis of the subak system, involving the interaction between man, the environment, and God.  This egalitarian and democratic system of farming is the core of the UNESCO inscription, and a strong expression of a local traditional practice in biodiversity.

Purpose of this Program

  • To promote & expand understanding of Slow Food’s approach to Biodiversity. 
  • To create appreciation & understanding of local red rice production in Bali in the Jatiluwih Subak irrigation system,  recognized by UNESCO as Living Cultural Heritage.

Representatives from Slow Food (Italy): 

  • Mr. Francesco Sottile, Advisor to the Board of Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity.  Associate Professor, Dept of Agricultural & Forest Sciences, University of Palermo, Italy. 
  • Ms. Elena Aniere, Area Coordinator of Slow Food,  (Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Indonesia & Philippines)

Event Schedule:

  • 08:30: Meeting of carpools at CIBO restaurant.  Jalan Raya Sayan, Ubud. 
  • 08:45 – 10:00: Transport to Jatiluwih Subak.  This is a food community area nominated as a Slow Food Ark of Taste product, and under consideration to become a Slow Food Presidia project.
  • 10:00 – 10:30:  Welcome & Orientation.
    • Greeting by Bapak Nyoman Sugita, leader of the Jatiluwih Association of Organic Red Rice Farmers.
    • A brief overview of the eco-system & bio-diversity of Jatiluwih Red Rice Farming by Heru Tarjoto
    • Introduction, and discussion with red rice farmers, lead by Grace Tarjoto.  Coffee break & snacks.
  • 10:30 – 11:30:  Visit to the Jatiluwih red rice farm community and interaction with the farmers to learn about the preservation of seeds and the traditional “lumbing“, or rice storage barn, and the preparation of ritual offerings representing and offered to the goddess of rice, “Dewa Ninik” .
  • 11:30 – 13:00: Visit the subak temple “CANTIK KUNING” followed by guided tour of the living subak irrigation system to witness how the irrigation water is subdivided.  The red rice plants will be in a golden state, ready for harvest.  Panoramic views of the rice terraces,  and visit to the UNESCO living monument landmark.
    • Practicum on traditional rice harvesting techniques
  • 13:00 – 14:00: Traditional Balinese Lunch, with tastings of red rice, cooked in various ways.  Enjoy various recipes using red rice flour in breads & pastries.
  • 14:00 – 15:30: Travel back to Ubud.


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