Government lists seven mitigation strategies as La Nina looms

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Agriculture, Syahrul Yasin Limpo, has outlined seven strategies to anticipate and mitigate the impact of the La Nina weather phenomenon, which can trigger flooding on agricultural land.

The first strategy involves mapping flood-prone areas, the minister said during a press conference here on Monday.

"All relevant government personnel must be able to map flood-prone areas, comprising red, yellow, and green zones. Everyone must remain vigilant and we should predict those prone areas. If such a map exists, of course, our preparations will be optimized," he added.

Limpo explained that the peak of the La Nina phenomenon will lie in December, 2020 to January, 2021.

The impact of the climate anomaly will be an increase in accumulated monthly rainfall of between 20 percent and 40 percent above normal in Indonesia, he said.

High intensity rainfall could, in turn, trigger floods and landslides, he noted. Some areas that are forecast to receive increased rainfall are eastern Kalimantan, Sulawesi, North Maluku, and Papua.

The Agriculture Ministry’s second strategy for dealing with La Nina involves early warning through monitoring of weather reports emerging from the BMKG (Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency), so that it can take anticipatory measures.

The third strategy is setting up a standby disaster brigade in each province and district, the minister said adding, the fourth strategy is helping pump water out of paddy fields and rehabilitate tertiary networks, especially in flood-prone areas.

“The fifth is using (flood-tolerant) seeds that are resistant to puddles, such as Inpara 1 to 10, Inpari 29, Inpari 30 — our local superior varieties,” Minister Limpo informed.

The sixth step will be providing insurance for rice farming and free seed assistance to farmers whose crops are damaged due to a natural disaster.

Finally, he said, the Ministry of Agriculture will optimize post-harvest activities by employing dryers.

He ordered local agricultural officers to prepare dryers and rice milling units for the purpose.

Source: ANTARA News

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