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Govt developing programmes to tackle drought JAKARTA - The government has planned to develop and implement programmes in order to minimise the impact of drought on the nation`s agricultural land, according to Agriculture Minister Suwono.

"We will start a pumping programme for areas with water resources," he told ANTARA News on Wednesday. Suwono said his office would step up efforts to deal with drought-related problems.

"We will also prepare a list of the areas affected by drought, so we can make efforts to first save the fields there," he added. When asked about the irrigation system, the minister pointed out that 52 percent of the irrigation facilities in Indonesia are not functioning properly.

However, Suwono said the government had allocated Rp3 trillion to repair irrigation facilities across the country by 2014. A total of Rp21 trillion is needed by the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Agriculture to fix the irrigation system nationwide, he added.

The chairman of the Indonesian Farmers Association, Sutrisno Iwantono, noted that lack of proper irrigation facilities was the core problem of the drought. Therefore, the government must pay serious attention to it, he said.

Meanwhile, Vice Minister of Agriculture Rusman Heryawan stated that the productivity of some 127,000 hectares of agricultural land in Indonesia, mostly in Java, suffered due to drought conditions this year. That accounts for around 1.2 percent of the country`s crop fields, he pointed out.

"The worst hit is West Java, followed by Central Java and then East Java, where water resources are still adequate," Rusman announced at a harvest event in Bantul, Yogyakarta, Central Java, on Wednesday.

He said the government must focus on dealing with the drought, adding that such conditions were not unusual for the country. "The problem is whether the drought that occurs this time is more serious than before," the vice minister explained.

According to Rusman, the drought this year is unlikely to have a severe impact on Indonesia`s food resilience. "National rice production has reached 38 million tonnes, so we are still safe," he said.


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Posted in General @ 05 September 2012 23:35 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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