Floods inundated 70,000 hectares of rice fields: minister
December 31, 2007, 6:22 am
Filed under: Flood

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The floods that occurred in a number of regions in Indonesia during the past three months inundated almost 70,000 hectares of rice fields and caused harvest failures on 6,676 hectares, Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono said.

“The floods that have been happening since last October have inundated 68,277 hectares of rice fields, of which some 6,676 hectares failed to be harvested,” the minister said after a coordination meeting on basic necessaries here on Friday.

He said the total area of flood-affected rice fields this year was wider than last year when only 66,400 hectares were flooded. “But the acreage which failed to be harvested this year was smaller,” he added.

The minister said, on a national scale, the floods had not affected rice production.

The coordination meeting was also attended by Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Beodiono, Trade Minister Mari Pangestu, State Enterprises Minister Sofyan Jalil, Transportation Minister Jusman Syafi`i Jamal, State Logistics Agency (Bulog) chief Mustafa Abu Bakar, Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) Rusman Heriawan and representatives of a number of state companies.

During the last five years, an average of 69,500 heactares of rice fields per year were affected by floods while harvest failure occurred on an average of 17,000 hectares per year.

The minister also said the total area of rice fields in Indonesia had increased from 1.14 million hectares to 2.0 million hectares.

He predicted there would be a rice deficit in January 2008 because production was estimated at 1.28 million tons while demand for rice in the same month was expected to reach 1.5-2.6 million tons.

But in the February-April 2008 period, there would be a rice surplus because production would reach 4.06 million tons in February, 5.87 million tons in March and 4.6 million tons in April.

The minister said he believed the national rice production target of 58.1 million tons of dried unhulled rice would be achieved. After all, production had reached 57.05 million tons of dried unhusked rice. (*)


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