We need to implement particular measures to anticipate the impacts of the El Nino heat wave on crops."
Kupang (ANTARA News) - Farmers in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province have been urged to brace for El Nino-induced drought expected to hit from June until November 2015.

"There is no need to panic but instead to brace for the possibility by preparing land to plant crops that can be harvested in a short period of time," Head of the NTT agricultural and plantation office Yohanes Tay Ruba stated here, Monday.

He suggested the local farmers to plant paddy of INPARI 19 variety that can be harvested in 94 days.

The farmers are also urged to use the rain harvesting system to collect water.

He pointed out that paddy and corn plants are most likely to be affected by El Nino.

The Indonesian Meteorological, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) and the National Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) have forecast that drought due to El Nino might occur from June to November this year and affect 18 provinces across the country.

"It means that drought caused by El Nino will coincide with the planting season in the dry season, which is April-September. We need to implement particular measures to anticipate the impacts of the El Nino heat wave on crops," Moch Syakir, the head of the research and development department of the agriculture ministry, said recently.

The people of NTT are apprehensive about the threat of the weather phenomenon El Nino, which has almost every year left a scene of disasters in that province.

Ruba noted that 17 of the 22 districts in NTT were always hit by the heat waves caused by El Nino every year.

The 17 districts are Ende, Lembata, Alor, Sumba Timur, Sumba Tengah, Kupang, Nagekeo, Flores Timur, Sabu Raijua, Sumba Barat, Sumba Barat Daya, Sikka, Timor Tengah Utara (TTU), Timor Tengah Selatan (TTS), Belu, Malaka, and Sikka.

Only five districts: Ngada, Manggarai Barat, Manggarai, Manggarai Timur, and Kota Kupang would escape the drought disaster, he added.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2015