This year EL Nino was predicted to be moderate and strong; but it should be borne in mind that Elnino only happened south of the equator not north of the equator. Only Java was affected but not Sumatra except Lampung. Kalimantan was not affected. Minister of Agriculture Amran Sulaiman made this statement upon monitoring drought in Kalimantan on Thursday (3/8).
In Kalimantan there were 1,000 ha of rice fields and in Sumatra there were 2,000 ha of rice fields to be maximized. Drought in Sumatra and Kalimantan was a blessing. The soil was mostly swamp so in the dry season the water descends and they planted rice. The Ministry of agriculture had procured water pumps, tracktors and combined hasvester so farmers could do replanting after harvest.
About drought, the Minister denied that he like a fire brigade, only acted after to late. The Government had anticipated drought by rehabilitating irrigation network covering 1,4 million ha. The pumps already distributed numbered 21,000 units.
“Many people questioned why did I have to wait until the dry season to distribute pumps. In Bodjonegoro there was 10,000 ha of dry land but there is the Bengawan Solo river. By using pumps the area could be saved.”
In indramayu there were 11,000 ha of rice fields drying up but there was the Cimanuk river which still contained water. With just 2 big pumps the are a could be saved. “The Government do not simply extend help but would consider the local condition. We excavate deep or shallow wells” he said.
Drought should not be regarded as 14 million ha which was the total area of rice fields in Indonesia. Of that area 76.3% were already harvested, the rice was in the barn and could not be disturbed.
What was to be saved now was the remaining 20% or around 2 million ha till September – October. A short term plan that could be done was to make artificial rain and pumping. For the medium range by making ponds and shallow wells, in NTT 1.000 was already 1,000 shallow wells which could overcome drought for the next 20 – 30 years.
As with beef the situation was now gradually normalizing. Meat from the feedlotters were already released, traders were already active once more and prices were down. Now it was for the Provincial Governments and the Polices to conclude whether there was rule being broken or not.
About stock of meat the Government had asked every feedlotter to report the population of cow the had. Out of 41 companies 35 had reported and the conclusion was: no shortage of stock.
The Minister of Agriculture had made sudden inspection to PT TUM; the result was there were 21,000 cows in stock, meaning there was no problem in terms of supply.
“If feed lotters were deliberately holding stock, they would not be given any recommendation in the future” the Minister said. The Directorate of Animal Farm was asked to seek for a niche in Law whereby to put sanction.”
Amran was puzzled by the increase of cattle price when was no trigger. At PT TUM price of beef was now Rp.44,000 per kg alive while last month it was Rp.36,000./kg. (SS)
Business News - August 19, 2015