El Nino Reduces Agricultural Production Capacity, Official Says

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  • TEMPO/Marifka Wahyu Hidayat

    TEMPO/Marifka Wahyu Hidayat

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Agriculture Ministry predicted that El Nino, a natural phenomenon that causes intense hot weather, would decrease the national production of dry milled grain (GKG) by one million ton.

    Dedi Nurhamsyah, Head of the Farming Resources Division in the Agriculture Ministry, said on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, that the Department of Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BMKG) has reported that this year, Indonesia will experience El Nino at a moderate level.

    From a total of nine million hectares of land, El Nino is predicted to dry up 222,847 hectares of irrigated land. "Each hectare of land produces around five tons of grain per hectare, meaning that we will lose more than 1 million tons of GKG," Dedi said.

    Even so Dedi asserted that the condition would not affect the 73 million tons production target of GKG, because Indonesia still has around 509,000 hectares of land that is suitable for farming. Dedi added that El Nino is also a blessing in disguise. Now, land that was previously too wet to be used as farms, such as land in South Kalimantan will be able to produce significant number of GKG. "El Nino would raise our productivity and the total area of farm land," Dedi said.