Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has given directives to his aides to be better prepared as a precautionary measure against a “drier than normal” dry season in 30 percent of Indonesia's regions in 2020.

During a virtual limited meeting from the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday, the head of state highlighted the criticality of a policy on mitigation to prevent the extreme climate from impacting the availability of staple food items.

"Based on the BMKG (Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency) forecast, 30 percent of Indonesia’s regions in the subsequent three months will face a harsher dry season," Jokowi remarked during the meeting held to discuss the impact of the dry season on the availability of staple foods.

Jokowi has also drawn the public’s attention to a likely global food crisis in line with the warning of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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As a precautionary measure against the impact of a drier season and likely food crisis, the head of state laid emphasis on the three issues of water availability at production centers, advance planting season, and stock management of essential goods.

Water supply must be ensured by developing its storage facilities, such as dams, lakes, retention basins, and artificial water reservoirs.

"We have to prepare this from now on," Jokowi stated.

"Secondly, advancing the planting season," he added.

The president has called on his cabinet ministers and local leaders to derive optimal benefits from the rainfall received currently to advance the planting season. Necessary steps should be taken to ensure continued production by farmers in future and application of the health protocol to stem the transmission of COVID-19.

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To this end, the government should ensure the availability of seeds and fertilizers at an affordable price.

"The third area of focus is the stock management of basic necessities, with detailed calculation. Bulog must purchase unhusked rice from farmers, so that the farming community can get a reasonable price," Jokowi added.

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Translator: Indra Arief P, Sri Haryati
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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