Jayapura, Jubi – A total of 8,874 hectares of ricefields in Merauke are threatened by the effects of a natural phenomenon known as El Nino, marked by rising seawater temperatures in several regions in the world.
El Nino has in the past resulted in harvest failure due to lack of irrigation.
“The drought is affecting 85 percent of 42 thousand hectares of paddy farming area in Merauke, while it has less impacted to other regencies. If it is so, it wasn’t too significant. Of 13,156 hectares of farming area, a total of 8,874 hectares is endangered of crop failure and 400 hectares were already damaged,” the Head of Plantation and Horticulture Office of Papua Province, Winarto told Jubi on Tuesday (11/8/2015).
To overcome this problem, the plantation and horticulture office is currently relying on pumping system that is applied by tide. “But it can not provide the thorough irrigation because it uses the brackish water or we can use it if the level of salt is sufficient,” he said.
Related to production, Winarto admitted about the crop failure in this season would not affect the production because his office has anticipated it earlier in last production. About artificial rain, Winarto will continue to propose it to the Central Government. However, referring to the contribution of Papua’s production at national level that is less than 1 percent, the government likely will more focus to other regions in Western Indonesia. (Sindung Sukoco/rom)