President Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono asked the related authorities to maintain national rice sufficiency and ordered them to take anticipate measures.
Head of the Board of Meteorology, Climatology and Geographysics [BMKG] Sri Woro B. Harijono on Thursday disclosed that certain regions in Indonesia might undergo delay of rainy season i.e. 51.8 percent of 220 seasonal zones in Indonesia by end of this year. However El Nino did not reduce the total rainfall in Indonesia.
President Soesilo stated that according to the prediction of the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations might cause deficit of the Rice amounting to around 10 million tons in Africa, causing the price of rice in the international market to soar up.
All related parties in Indonesia were urged to maintain the domestic stock of rice which in July 2009 was posted at 2.6 million tons but to become at least 1.5 tons by the time the El Nino arrived so all related parties were urged not to be tempted to export rice which might cause rice shortage at home in Indonesia.
“The rice surplus is our domestic stock, which we should manage well. Never let it happen that just because the International price is high, some traders are tempted to channel out rice distribution overseas. This is a matter of loyalty to the nation and calls for national solidity, that our nation be safely protected from the hazards of El Nino” the President underscored this on Thursday [30/7] at the presidential palace.
In the effort to anticipate the El Nino, the President Instructed all Governors, mayors and all related authorities to take anticipate measures like securing procurement of subsidized rice as stipulated in the State Budget 2010, i.e. 16 kg for 12 months in 2010 for 17.5 million poor families to stabilize market price of rice – while the Government has their commitment to secure Rp 1 trillion as food fund for 2010.
To all governors and mayors, the President ordered to maintain and secure all water pools, dams and irrigation system and build new ones, to operate effective pumping system whereby the procurement of clean water be well managed.
The Board of Technological Development [BPPT] were ordered to scheme up plans for making artificial rain, to make use of soft soils and swamps where rice could be planted, to reschedule planting seasons and use of rice varieties which might grow on less watery soils.