Things tend to even themselves out I reckon. So while Indonesia is prone to many natural disasters, it is also one of the most fertile places in the world. Anything will grow here. You just chuck the seeds in the ground and let the tropical climate do the rest. And in some parts of Java, they even get three rice harvests a year!
So why is Indonesia importing so much rice at the moment? I mean the stuff is being shipped in from Thailand as if Indonesia were Somalia or something. Utterly absurd when you think about it, and a bit like Russia importing vodka or Finland importing reindeer meat.
So what’s gone wrong?
Well, according to President SBY’s advisory team at the Bogor Agriculture Institute, the problems relate to the very low productivity of Indonesian rice farmers as a result of wearing heavy clothing under the baking tropical sun that constrict their bodily movements thus leading to extremely low rice yields.
This has prompted calls for a more practical approach to rice farming, and the designation of 5 March as “national naked rice farming day”:
Why farm naked? First of all, our culture needs to move toward a healthy sense of both body acceptance and our relation to the natural environment. Farming naked is not only a simple joy, it reminds us--even if only for those few sunkissed minutes--that we can be honest with who we are as humans and as part of this planet.
All that's involved is getting naked and making the world's rice paddies --whatever their size, public or private -- healthier and more productive. WNGD has no political agenda (even Bakrie’s not involved in this one), nor is it owned or organized by any one particular group. Naked individuals and groups are encouraged to adopt the day for themselves.
All very well of course, but what are we folks who are stuck in metropolitan areas like Jakarta gonna do?
Join in of course! Some of the staff weren’t too keen I admit, but there you go. And all in all, a refreshing change I’m sure you’ll agree!
Not naked yet