Jakarta (ANTARA) - Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman made assurance of the government's assistance to farmers in North Konawe District of Southeast Sulawesi to recover their farming lands ruined by floods that inundated the region.

"The Agriculture Ministry has collected aid totaling Rp12 billion. Of the total 10 thousand hectares of paddy fields in the region, 600 hectares were submerged by floods. For the 600 hectares, specifically for paddy fields, we will provide free seeds and fertilizers. We will deploy tractors to recover the farming lands," Sulaiman remarked in a statement here on Friday.

The minister paid a visit to North Konawe District to ascertain the smooth distribution of humanitarian aid to flood victims. A special team will commence farm recovery work at once after the flood waters subside.

"We will move quickly to rebuild the paddy fields. We call on the ministry's team and local authority to work swiftly, as machinery, seeds, and fertilizers have already arrived in Kendari (the capital city of Southeast Sulawesi)," he noted.

Sulaiman remarked that the ministry will also offer assistance in the form of chicken and goats for farmers, who lost their livestock due to the floods.

"Before the floods, we had handed out 46 thousand chicken and goats. We will distribute more chicken and goats (for farmers)," he noted.

The minister stated that the national rice supply was sufficient despite flooding in Southeast Sulawesi, with stocks reaching 2.3 million tons.

Furthermore, the government will urge State Logistic Agency (Bulog) to distribute rice to regions affected by the natural disaster.

North Konawe was inundated by floods following heavy downpour that resulted in the rivers of Lalindu, Wadolo, and Wadambali overflowing.

A total of 17 houses incurred damage or were washed away by the floods, while 851 houses and three mosques were submerged. Moreover, flooding resulted in access being cut off to a connecting bridge as well as four elementary buildings and a high school.


Translator: Ahmad Wijaya, Sri Haryati
Editor: Bambang Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2019