"We optimize all the potential rice fields that are not affected by El Nino as in Kalimantan and Sumatra except Lampung, Sumatra is the extent to 2 million ha, and Kalimatan 1 million ha, that we optimize," said Mentan.
Mentan hopes, rice production from these regions may cover the potential shortfall of production in other places affected by El Nino. There are a number of areas of potential planting is still very scattered at some point.
He added that, despite the long drought due to the impact of El Nino, the Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) guarantees the supply of rice in the country is still sufficient until next year's growing season. The conviction was based on the harvest grain has reached 80% of the 14 million hectares of rice fields this year.
"Production has been harvested and entered the barn 80%. Do not be exaggerated, the period grain has entered warehouses and then contact with the dry, we try again there are an additional 15% remaining despite the drought," said Amran.
Amran added, people should not misinterpret the long drought this year. Therefore, he guarantees will not open the tap on rice imports because of the impact of drought can still be covered from surplus rice in Borneo and Sumatra.
"The dry just 200,000 hectares, but is perceived there is drought in 14 million hectares of rice land. El Nino only affect in Java. In Java, we also managed to save 114,000 hectares of puso with the distribution of 21,000 water pumps. If in Sumatra except Lampung and Kalimantan exactly they are not drought. In fact, no additional new planting area, "said Amran. (Kompas)