Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sustainable Agriculture? - Bali Rice Paddies

Tirta Gorge, Bali

The fertile volcanic soil of much of the Indonesian archipelago-- and particularly the islands of Java and Bali-- has made rice a central dietary staple. Steep terrain on Bali resulted in intricate cooperation systems, locally called subak, to manage water storage and drainage for rice terraces.

Growing rice has an adverse environmental impact because of the large quantities of methane gas it generates. World methane production due to paddy fields has been estimated to be in the range of 50 to 100 million tonnes per annum. This level of greenhouse gas generation is a large component of the global warming threat produced from an expanding human population. However, recent studies have shown that methane can be significantly reduced while also boosting crop yield by draining the paddies allowing the soil to aerate, which interrupts methane production.

Source: Wikipedia

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