Indonesia crop failure blamed on El Nino

As some southern regions experience drought for six months now, farmers rely on government to buy food and water.

Wonogiri, Indonesia – Indonesia says some of its southern regions are experiencing drought because of the weather phenomenon known as El Nino.

Some areas of the country have not had rain for six months. Wells in Wonigiri, in central Java, have run dry after nearly half a year without rain.

Farmers have been hit hard, with monsoon rains expected to start two months later than usual due to El Nino.

Nearly 100,000 hectares of rice harvest have failed already. Farmers are now depending on financial support from the government for food, including basic necessities, like drinking water.

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The Indonesian government insists food stocks are still sufficient, but experts say this is too optimistic. The agriculture ministry admits the effects of El Nino have yet to be calculated.

The government is resorting to drastic measures in an effort to create rain.

Planes have been flying over the worst-hit areas, releasing salt into the clouds – a procedure that causes raindrops to become heavy and fall.

Authorities have also distributed thousands of water pumps. But without any water sources, farmers are struggling.

Source: Al Jazeera