Karawang, W Java (ANTARA) - The government continues to install deep well pumps in rice farming areas vulnerable to water scarcity due to drought during the dry season to reduce risks of crop failure, President Joko Widodo stated.

"We install deep well pumps in crucial rice farming areas that we calculate will suffer from water scarcity," the president remarked after visiting the Pasar Baru traditional market in Karawang City, West Java, on Wednesday.

The government recorded 1.6 million tons of rice being stored in State Logistics Agency's (Bulog's) warehouses, according to the President, better known as Jokowi.

The current rice stock is higher than that of the previous one that stood at 1.2 million tons, he noted, adding that the government would maintain availability of the country's rice stocks during the dry season.

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"One of the endeavors being made by the Agriculture Ministry and Public Works and Housing Ministry is installing deep well pumps in vulnerable rice farming areas," President Jokowi remarked.

Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto had revealed earlier that Indonesia would again import three million tons of rice this year to fulfill its rice deficit, caused by the El Nino weather pattern.

Last year, Indonesia imported around 3.5 million tons of rice, he stated, adding that the El Nino climate pattern that recently impacted Indonesia had caused a national rice deficit.

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Translator: Andi F, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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