Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has said that the government has started the distribution of water pumps to all provinces to ensure stable agricultural productivity in the face of a potential long drought in Indonesia.

The measure has been taken in response to the forecast of the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) on the potential for heatwave and long drought in Indonesia from July to October this year.

"In Central Java, from a total of 4,300 pumps, we hope that our productivity will increase by 1.3 million tons," Widodo said while reviewing the implementation of water pumping in Kalibeji village, Tuntang sub-district, Semarang district, Central Java, on Wednesday.

Through the pump assistance, the government is targeting to increase Central Java's total rice production from 8.9 million tons to 10.2 million tons.

This year, the government is distributing 25 thousand pumps, and the number is targeted to be increased to 75 thousand in the future.

The President said that water pumping will help irrigate a wider area of agricultural land and allow two to three harvests per year compared to only one or two previously.

The measure is considered important to maintain the stability of food stocks and control basic food prices amid uncertain global conditions.

President Widodo also emphasized the importance of preparation and preventive action to face extreme climate change.

"All countries experienced a decline in production due to heatwave, long drought, due to El Nino —that is what we are anticipating," he said.

During the review, the President was accompanied by Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman, Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, acting governor of Central Java, Nana Sudjana, and Semarang district head Ngesti Nugraha.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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