President Jokowi Tells Regional Leaders to Brace for Drought, Heat Wave

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 14 Juni 2024
Category: News
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President Jokowi delivers remarks and opens National Coordination Meeting on Inflation Control 2024 at the State Palace, Jakarta, Friday (06/14). (Photo by: Rahmat/PR)

During the 2024 National Coordination Meeting for Inflation Control on Friday (06/14), President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reminded regional leaders to be aware of future challenges related to the issues of climate and food.

The President also mentioned warnings from the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres that the world is facing a ‘climate hell’.

“We must remain alert and careful since future challenges will not be easy. I think you have all heard warning from the UN Secretary General that the world is heading towards climate hell. It is horrifying. The climate hell. Temperatures will surge to record levels in the next five years,” the President said.

The President pointed out that Indonesia last year experienced a heat wave, adding that temperatures in India reached 50 degrees Celsius and 45.8 degrees Celsius in Myanmar.

If this situation persists, he added, the world according to the FAO will experience drought in 2050, resulting in food shortages.

Therefore, the President emphasized the importance of anticipating drought and heat waves that can impact food production and inflation.

“What does it mean? We have to prepare for drought. Do not mess around with heat waves. This could lead to inflation. Once stocks are gone, production drops. No food stock means prices will definitely rise. The law of markets is like that,” the President said.

To anticipate this chain of problems, the President has ordered Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing to collaborate with the Indonesian National Defense Forces to install water pumps.

He added that there should at least around 20,000 pumps installed in food production areas, especially rice producing areas.

“I checked yesterday in Central Java, 1,400 pumps had already been installed and more will be added, especially in production areas. I will check on the ground so the water pumps can be used when the dry season starts following El Niño that is predicted to hit some areas in July, maybe in August, September and October. Thus, production will not drop. That’s why the pumps were installed,” he added.

Apart from installing pumps, the Government has a target of building 61 reservoirs and dams within 10 years.

To date, 43 reservoirs and dams have been inaugurated; yet, the President continued, building reservoirs and dams requires a good irrigation system, including primary, secondary and tertiary channels so that water can irrigate the rice fields; thereby increasing agricultural and plantation yield.

The President also emphasized the importance of applying technology to boost production in the agricultural and plantation sectors.

“Now is the era of technology, the era of smart systems. We must be able to upgrade our economic system to manage agriculture in regencies, especially areas with leading commodities,” said the President.

The Head of State also called for investment in building processing industries to increase added value of every agricultural and plantation production.

“We also need to build an integrated distribution system. This is already being done now by the Chinese Government. Therefore, distribution system will be truly integrated. I think if central and regional coordination is ensured, we will be able to implement those measures,” he concluded. (FID/ABD) (EST/RAS/EP)

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