President Jokowi Orders Ministers to Mitigate Impacts of El Nino
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has ordered his Cabinet to comprehensively map out issues related to the impact of the El Nino phenomenon in the country starting from drought, shortage of clean water, crop failure, to forest and land fires.
“President Jokowi has given three directives: comprehensive problem mapping, water availability strategies, and availability of sufficient water on food production center areas,” said Minister of the Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya in a press statement after attending a limited meeting on mitigation on the impact of the El Nino phenomenon, at Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, Tuesday (10/03).
According to her, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono has identified water sources to supply water, especially for agricultural land.
“Minister of Public Works and Public Housing has reported that of around 114 lakes, 323 ponds, and water basin, approximately between 60 and 80 percent are still effective and sufficient enough to provide water,” said Siti.
Echoing a similar sentiment, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Harvick Hasnul Qolbi pointed out that food supply remains stable.
“There has been decline in production – especially in the food crop sector – that has been greatly impacted by El Nino and the dry season that is longer than previously estimated. However, the situation for livestock, plantations, agriculture, both food crops and horticulture is currently quite positive,” Harvick said.
To anticipate the impact of a decline in rice production, Harvick added, the Government has taken measures efforts, including importing rice for government rice reserves (CBP).
“To reduce rice prices in the market, we are trying to increase supply. We hope this will be effective. We also work with other ministries/institutions, especially Ministry of Trade as well as the National Food Agency,” he said. (FID/KS/UN) (EST/EP)