Subak Abian

In Bali, farmers organize into co-ops locally called Subak Abian.  Members of a Subak Abian pool resources to help each other throughout the operational farm management process as well as the post-harvest process. Shared resources can include knowledge, labor, crop inputs, processing, etc.

However, unlike so many co-ops in other cultures, Subak Abian in Bali serve a much more complex socioreligious purpose. They are part of a two-part system called Subak, which include Subak Sawa (for wet crops, such as rice) and Subak Abian:

Subak is one of the cultural landscapes of the island of Bali. This system is said to be one of the cultural landscapes because of the linkages between irrigation management, traditional beliefs, and social organizations. (Janiawati, n.d.)

Subak Abian are primarily involved with dry crops such as coconut, coffee, and other plants. (Janiawati, n.d.)

Bali is majority Hindu and the Hindu farmers follow a philosophy called Tri Hita Karana or the three causes of well-being, which are; harmony with your fellow man, harmony with God, and harmony with nature.  Because of their belief in harmony with nature, coffee produced under the philosophy of Tri Hita Karana is largely free of agrochemicals though not often certified as organic (organic certification can be costly to small farmers).

  1. Janiawati, I. A. A. SISTEM SUBAK DAN SUBAK ABIAN PADA TATANAN LANSKAP DI BALI (Subak and Subak Abian system in Landscape Level of Bali). Institut Pertanian Bogor.

Updated July 3, 2019: Clarified statement about organic certifications