Maritime sector can overcome impact of drought: Activist

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Various maritime resources can be utilized to help overcome the impact of drought in various regions, an activist stated.

"Fish catch can help to cover the losses incurred in the agricultural sector due to drought," Executive Director of the Center of Maritime Studies for Humanities Abdul Halim noted in Jakarta on Friday.

Halim believes the fish catch will be helpful in coastal areas affected by the drought.

Several regional governments, such as that of the island province of Bangka Belitung, are optimizing efforts to monitor drought-prone areas to tackle harvest failures during the dry season.

"We have not yet found or received reports of agricultural areas that have experienced drought that could affect the farmers," Head of Agricultural Service of Bangka Belitung Toni Batubara remarked in Pangkal Pinang on Tuesday.

Batubara said his office is conducting cross-sectoral coordination in a bid to take precautionary steps against harvest failure in the current drought season.

In the face of the drought, the central government has outlined precautionary measures to tackle the natural disaster in some regions in Indonesia.

"I have urged all ministers and related institutions as well as governors to evaluate the condition on the field and take necessary precautionary measures to handle the drought," President Joko Widodo stated at the start of a closed-door meeting to discuss drought countermeasures at the Presidential Office in Jakarta recently.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman, Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil, National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, East Java Governor Sukarwo, and Central Java Minister Gandjar Pranowo, among others, attended the meeting.

The president admitted to having received a report from the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) indicating that the drought that hit Indonesia in 2017 would not be as bad as that in 2015 when the El-Nino phenomenon had occurred.

"However, in some regions, no rains were received for more than 60 consecutive days, or over two months. Parts of Java Island have borne witness to the peak of the drought season. According to the BMKG, most regions will receive rains by the end of November or October 2017," the president disclosed.

Source: ANTARA News

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