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Up to 870,000 hectares of land face drought in Indonesia due to El Nino

(150730) -- BEKASI, July 30, 2015 (Xinhua) -- A local resident washes clothes while others take water from a dried river in Bekasi, West Java province, Indonesia, July 30, 2015. Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said, trend of El nino phenomena intensity is moving towards to strong moderate, which means that the start of the rain season in Indonesia will withdraw to November. As a result, some areas will experience drought, currently affected area is around the equator, such as South Sumatera province, Lampung province, Palembang, Java and Bali, Kalimatan islands. (Xinhua/Veri Sanovri) ****Authorized by ytfs****

Extreme hot weather caused by El Nino phenomenon is predicted to drag up to 870,000 hectares of agricultural lands in Indonesia into drought and crop failures, Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo said Tuesday.

“The extreme El Nino has the potential to cause not only drought, but also crop failures, land fires and pest attacks, for 560,000 to 870,000 hectares of agricultural lands across the country,” Limpo said during a parliamentary hearing in Jakarta.

Indonesia’s meteorology, climatology and geophysical agency BMKG has previously announced that the Southeast Asian country is expected to experience El Nino phenomenon in the second half of this year with its peak coming in August.

Limpo said that in order to reduce negative consequences and maintain food production capacity, the Indonesian government will identify and map land areas that are prone to drought to accelerate planting and harvesting there when there’s still rain.

The government will also supply more farm machinery to accelerate planting, offer support for irrigation, and provide agricultural insurance to farmers.

Source: English News