Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - A serious food crisis threatens 95,973 people in NTT Province, an official said.

"The total of 95,973 people live in 213 villages in 159 sub- districts and 11 districts/cities of the 21 districts/cities (in NTT), an anticipation needs to be made for an early solution," Nico Bala Nuhan, the head of the NTT Food Resilience and Counseling (BKPP), said here on Tuesday.

A climate change-induced drought has caused the food crisis, he said.

The food crisis could trigger a famine and malnutrition, and therefore the NTT BKPP has prepared several scenarios to help tackle the problem, he said.

The scenarios included an emergency response by providing food to the affected people. For the mid-term scenario, the government should provide production facility assistance such as seedlings, fertilizers and water pumps.

For the long-term scenario, the productions of agricultural, plantation and animal husbandry products must be increased, and the irrigation facilities must be improved.

The Farmer Empowerment Through Agriculture Technology and Information (FEATI) programs must also be implemented to provide adequate clean water and fight poverty, he said.

"So there are indeed NTT people who facing the food crisis, but their number is not a million as reported by several media," he said.

Several NTT districts such as South Timor Tengah, East Sumba, Ngada, East Flores, Belu, North Timor Tengah and Lembata, are reportedly suffering from a food crisis. (*)

Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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