In Indonesia, agricultural development has significantly played a great role in economic development. Local rice farming in Bali province is very strongly related to social, cultural and religious aspects of Balinese which is based on the subak system as cultural farmers’ organization with its philosophy called Tri Hita Karana, which becomes a basis of its internal regulations (traditional laws). Subak has some roles in Bali relating to the activities about (i) management of irrigation water distribution and allocation; (ii) mobilization of resources for operation and maintenance of irrigation; (iii) fund raising; (iv) conflict solution; and (v) ritual ceremonies. These activities are conducted under the traditional law of subak which has strong sanctions for the members who violate or break the law. Due to high economic growth in Bali, the existence of subak might be threatened indicated by land conversion. Subak system should be sustained by government and subak itself. The government should have a role to protect the rice field/land conversion and provide incentive for the yield produced by farmers (higher price), giving subsidy for the agro-inputs, and agricultural insurance for ensuring farmers to work on rice farming. Subak should be encouraged to maintain their rice field by putting some regulations into the by-laws of subak to sustain its land and culture by not selling the land.
Keywords: Subak, regulation, culture, irrigation, land conversion, and rice farming