Floods put West Java on brink of crop failure

Arya Dipa

Crop failures could be seen across more than 10,000 hectares of agricultural land in West Java due to the recurring floods that have hit the province over the past few months.

West Java Agriculture Agency head Hendy Jatnika said on Friday that heavy rains had inundated 13,234 ha of the province’s 166,715 ha of agricultural land. If the floodwaters did not recede within the next three days, the farmers' rice crops would be ruined, he went on to say.

“The provincial and regency administration will help farmers by providing rice seeds for replanting, said Hendy, adding that agriculture instructors and experts were assessing the flooded farms across the province.

Among the 15 affected regencies are Cirebon and Subang, where 3,917 ha and 3,051 ha of rice fields have been inundated, respectively.

Statistics Indonesia’s (BPS) 2018 Intercensal Agricultural Survey showed that West Java was home to around 1.88 million farmers.

Agricultural experts have warned that climate change has begun to affect food production in parts of the country, and have urged the government to introduce programs to mitigate the impacts.

Bustanul Arifin, a professor of agricultural economics at the University of Lampung (Unila), warned that Indonesia could suffer food scarcity if the government failed to address the impacts of climate change. (mai)