Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Food Agency (Bapanas) is relying on pump and reservoir facilities to maintain the national rice production rate of at least 1 million tons during the dry season this year.

"For the water shortage problem, as long as we still have rivers, some rice fields can be irrigated by pumping from rivers," the head of Bapanas, Arief Prasetyo Adi, said on Friday.

He noted that this year's drought has occurred amid widespread climate change in various parts of the world.

President Joko Widodo, in his opening speech at the 2024 National Working Meeting on Inflation Control on Friday, described the current air temperatures as 'climate hell,' marked by a heat wave in India, which is boiling at 50 degrees Celsius, and Myanmar at 45.8 degrees Celsius.

"Climate change does not only happen in Indonesia, but all over the world. The Earth has the potential to heat up to 50 degrees Celsius, like in India. Some countries also experience air temperature above 40 degrees Celsius," Adi said.

The majority of plants will not be able to survive in such temperatures, he warned.

His agency is relying on a program to install 20 thousand pumps in all agricultural areas affected by the drought.

"Followed by deep well pumps up to 150 meters underground," he added.

Besides pumps, Bapanas will also use 61 reservoir facilities, which will be inaugurated by the President soon.

Bapanas will also provide food balance reports as an indicator of the inflation rate, which can be monitored at any time by local governments.

"Every region must have a food balance sheet; they must know how much they need to produce. Cooperation between regions is also needed, followed by efforts by Bapanas, Bulog (State Logistics Agency), and Food SOEs (state-owned enterprises) to prepare the government's food reserves," Adi said.

He expressed the hope that such efforts will help food-related authorities in Indonesia to consistently maintain national rice supply of at least one million tons.

"The rice (production) must be maintained at above 1 million tons. It is mandatory," he emphasized.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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