Flooding in Riau Causes Widespread Harvest Failures

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  • TEMPO.CO, Pekabnaru - Floods that have severely inundated some 2,481 hectares of paddy fields in the province of Riau has caused widespread harvest failure - causing an estimated decrease of Riau's rice production by some 6,000 tonnes in 2016.

    "The rains and flooding will definitely impact rice production in 2016," said the Head of Riau's Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Agency, Patrianov, to Tempo on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

    Patrianov said that around 15,521 hectares of arable farmlands have been primed and planted for the planting season - that said, some 10,583 hectares have been inundated with varying depths of flood water, as creeks across three regencies have burst their banks. "We have confirmed that 2,481 hectares of farmland will not be able to harvested," Patrianov said.

    The worst affected, according to Patrianov, is Kuantan Sengigi, where 8,007 hectares out of the total of 9,627.35 arable farmland was inundated - and 1,014 hectares have been confirmed will not be able to harvest anything. In Kampar, out of the 2,805 hectares of farmland that have been planted, 2,336 have been inundated as a result of increased precipitation and flooding and 1,434 hectares have been inundated beyond recovery.

    Meanwhile, in Indragiri Hulu - 16 hectares out of the 65 hectares of primed and planted farmland - will experience failed harvest.

    The number of affected farmlands is expected to substantially increase as flooding in Indragiri Hulu and Kuantan Singigi have yet to subside, as Batang Kuantan river have yet to recede beneath its' banks.

    That said, continued Patrianov, his Agency is still optimistic that it will be able to meet its' rice production target, which for 2016 has been set at 406,996 tonnes - as last year Riau also managed to meet to meet its' production target despite severe inundation and widespread flooding. "Besides, farmers will still have a chance to replant their fields in March," Patrianov said.

    In order to ensure that Riau does not miss its' production target, the provincial administration will distribute 25 kilograms of rice seedlings for every hectares of farm land affected. The provision of seedlings will be funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, through the State Budget.

    RIYAN NOFITRA