“Rice is considered to be the most important crop for the Balinese and traditionally it has been viewed as a gift from the gods that needs to be honored as such. It is a key ingredient of the local cuisine. The value of this crop to the local population is demonstrated by the fact that the villages surrounding the rice fields will have shrines devoted to it. The cycle of rice planting, irrigation, maintaining, and harvesting sets the tone for much of the traditional island life. The Balinese have created their own system for rice cultivation, and it is one of the most effective ways of managing this crop in the world.
Paddy fields refer to any parcel of arable land that is devoted to rice farming. The most common form of paddy field will be on flat land, but it is also possible to have paddy terraces that follow the natural contours of hills. Bali offers both type of paddy, but it is the terraces that visitors usually most want to see because these tend to be the most stunningly beautiful. The rice terraces have been here on Bali for at least 2,000 years, and they were originally carved into the hills using hand tools.
The Balinese system of irrigating their rice terraces is known as Subak. It is such an important part of Balinese culture that in June 2012 it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status. This method for irrigating the land was inspired by an ancient Hindu philosophy, and it has been used since at least the 11th century. Using this method the rice fields were built around temples and the allocation of water is the responsibility of priests. In order for this management of irrigation to work successfully it has required that members of each community cooperate with one another and work in partnership. Each member of the community takes responsibility for maintaining the systems integrity, and this is why the terraces tend to look so well maintained. The rice farmers work as a unit to create appropriate canals and dams.” https://www.volunteerbali.org/rice-fields-of-bali/