Samarinda (ANTARA) - The East Kalimantan provincial government has appealed to local farmers to expedite the crop planting process as the province is projected to experience a long drought due to El Nino.

"We have issued a written instruction to urge farmers and agricultural instructors to accelerate the planting process," Rini Susilawati, daily executive head of the East Kalimantan Food, Crops, and Horticulture Office, said in Samarinda on Saturday.

El Nino is a phenomenon of the warming of sea surface temperatures above the normal levels in the central to eastern part of the Pacific Ocean, she explained.

The warming temperature could lead to an increase in cloud formation in the central Pacific and decrease rainfall in Indonesia, triggering drought in the country.

"One of the provinces predicted to experience a long drought is East Kalimantan," she noted.

Related news: East Kalimantan continues preparation to host OICCA in July

Based on experts' analysis, El Nino will have a significant impact on the agricultural sector in the form of drought, crop diseases, shift in pest patterns, and decreased production, among others.

For that reason, the government has taken measures to anticipate the potential effects of El Nino in the province by issuing an early warning to farmers and preparing a number of solutions to address a long drought.

The provincial government is also pushing farmers to use drought-resistant seeds and build water reservoirs that they can use in the event of a drought.

"All the efforts are being exerted in order to help farmers deal with the potential for El Nino," she said.

East Kalimantan is not a major food-producing region, she noted. However, the province has food crop and horticulture centers in Kutai Kartanegara, North Penajam Paser, Paser, Samarinda, East Kutai, West Kutai, and Berau, she said.

It has horticultural potential in almost every fruit. She cited East Kutai district's local bananas that have managed to penetrate foreign markets as an example.

Related news: East Kalimantan committed to elevating underdeveloped villages

Translator: Arumanto, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Jafar M Sidik
Copyright © ANTARA 2023