Jakarta (ANTARA) - Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo has said that land identification and grouping are part of his ministry’s strategy to face the impact of El Nino.

El Nino has been predicted to occur in the second half of 2023 and is expected to peak in August.

He noted that when El Nino, or an extreme increase in sea surface temperatures, occurs, it could trigger drought in around 560–870 thousand hectares of land.

"To this end, several efforts that need to be made are identifying and mapping the drought-affected locations as well as grouping them into red, yellow, and green areas," he said at a meeting with Commission IV of the House of Representatives (DPR) in Jakarta on Tuesday.

According to him, the grouping of areas is aimed at increasing water availability in locations that are prone to extreme drought.

Limpo further informed that other efforts made by the Agriculture Ministry have included accelerating planting to make the most of the remaining rainfall and increasing the availability of agricultural tools and machinery for the acceleration of planting.

They have also included establishing or repairing ponds, channel reservoirs, deep wells, and infiltration wells, as well as rehabilitating tertiary irrigation networks, and pumping.

Apart from that, the ministry is also providing seeds for dry lands, developing organic fertilizers independently, and providing people's business credit (KUR) financing support and agricultural insurance.

The minister noted that El Nino has the potential to cause land and forest fires, harvest failure, clean water shortage, drought, and even increase the intensity of pest attacks.

"To this end, anticipation and adaptation are needed in an effort to reduce the impact of the decline in food production capacity," he said.

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Translator: Maria Cicilia, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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