Bali News, Badung – In early 2010 Bali was greeted with a wide range confrontation of pests ranged from plant hopper pests, sundep pest, walang tunggro sangit pests, birds and a difficult pest to be compromised with, mice. Hundreds of hectares of paddy fields become victims of the uncharitable rat attacks. The farmers have screamed, but the government is still calmly reacted. For that, Bali Weekly tried to approach the Head of Bali Provincial Department of Agriculture to get information of anticipatory measures against pests that damage the farmers’ rice crop. According to Head of Production, Pest and Disease of Bali Provincial Department of Agriculture Ir. Narayana, the area of paddy field throughout the province of Bali is about 81,144 Ha. 162 Ha has been attacked by pests (latest data in June 2009), it is still considered to be below the threshold limit of the food supply. Even so, when viewed from the development of mice populations of one per 40 hours, it becomes quite worrying because the very high population levels ranked on top of the other animals.
The worst damage to rice crops we have in Bali is at the district level of Tabanan, Badung, Gianyar, and Jembrana. Farmers have coped with all their strength to eradicate the mice, but no avail. Mice have increasingly attacked rice plants and the farmers have their reasons to scream while desperately trying different ways including the spiritual approach, hoping salvation to the Gods. Seeing this condition, Bali Weekly tried to confirm to Members of Commission B of the Parliament Board of Badung, I Wayan Tana SH, who is in charge of agricultural issues. He thinks that the general effort of eradicating rat pest in Bali is done with their klian subak (chief of farmers in an area) by holding Penangluk Merana ceremony (to beg salvation from the Almighty), and afterward resumed by a massive manhunt, sharing the work simultaneously and continuously throughout Bali so such an opportunity for the mice to move around can be eliminated. Further explained, the heavy rainy season and floods everywhere are believed to help reducing rats’ population chain because many mice and rats will die in the flood.
The same review is also lengthily explained by the Bali Provincial Agricultural Department, which stated that in principle mice pest eradication can not be done locally and must be done in a mass, simultaneously action to prevent the pests from moving around. Besides, rotating other staple crops and rice-planting should also be applied aiming to break the chain of food supply for rats. The final way to be implied is for the whole community to maintain ecosystem balance among the predators of pests such as snakes, hawks, owls, hedgehogs and cats. Thus, pest predatory animals shall be preserved and may not be hunted.–ws-