Kendari, SE Sulawesi (ANTARA) -
Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman said that the floods that swept through several parts of the country in recent weeks will not disrupt national rice stocks.

"Floods are not a threat to national rice stocks. The national rice stocks currently stand at 2.3 million tons, kept in a number of Bulog (national logistics board) warehouses," he said in Kendari, the capital of Southeast Sulawesi province, on Thursday.

The floods that engulfed a number of rice-producing areas had led to farmers failing to harvest their paddy fields, he noted.

"Disasters are difficult to predict because they happen suddenly. Farmers who were ready to harvest their paddy fields were saddened because their hard work for months had failed due to the floods," he said.

While flood-hit regions failed to harvest paddy fields, other regions in Indonesia were experiencing large harvests, he said.

He noted that the central government has extended more than Rp15 billion in aid to help alleviate the burden of flood-affected farmers, particularly in Southeast Sulawesi province.

The minister symbolically handed over such aid to Southeast Sulawesi Governor Ali Mazi, accompanied by commander of the 143 Haluoleo military post, Infantry Colonel Yustinus Nono Yulianto, and a member of the House of Representatives (DPR), Umar Arsal, at the disaster emergency command post of the 143 Haluoleo military post.

"The aid consists of cash worth more than Rp12 billion and an excavator valued at Rp3.5 billion. In total, the aid reaches more than Rp15 billion," he said.

Translator: Sarjono, Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati
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