Following a delay in the onset of the monsoon season, rains have started in most of Indonesia. However parts of eastern Indonesia continue to face severe drought. An estimated 3 million Indonesians live below the poverty line in severely drought impacted districts with 1.2 million of these reliant on rainfall for their food production livelihood.
Late onset of rains and subsequent delays in planting have two critical cascading effects: extension of the lean season and increased exposure of the second rice planting to peak dry season which increases the probability of crop damage or failure.
The delay in the rainy season has slowed progress in planting of the main rice crop for 2016, with significant delays in East and Central Java – key rice producing provinces. Ten and seven percent of rice fields in East Java and Central Java are delayed and may miss the critical window for planting, endangering crops.
Delays in the main planting season will extend the lean season with negative impact on vulnerable households. Localized reductions in rice production are expected, raising concerns for large numbers of subsistence farming families in the drought- affected areas.
The extended lean season will stretch resources among poorer households who spend a large share of their limited income on food, with prices likely to rise while the next harvest is postponed. In addition, without efforts to accelerate planting immediately daily agricultural wage laborers will continue to have reduced income opportunities.
Record high prices of rice are expected to weigh heavily on food access and stress the food and livelihood security situation of the most vulnerable populations.
Increased probability of floods in the rainy season may impact food access by disrupting travel networks and presenting hazards including landslides in vulnerable, low socio-economic areas