Joko calls for water pumps to shield crops from heat wave

Indonesia President Joko Widodo. — Bloomberg

President Joko Widodo plans to speed up the installation of water pumps across the country to protect food crops from the impact of extreme weather.

Jokowi, as the president’s commonly known, urged the government to get 20,000 water pumps in place and use water more efficiently to safeguard the country’s food security in the face of climate change.

“Don’t play around with heat waves as it could lead to inflation,” he said in a meeting to discuss inflation. “Once stockpiles are gone, production will decrease, market prices will rise.”

The water pump installation should focus on areas that produce rice, a staple in the country of more than 270 million people.

Jokowi is also racing to build the 61 reservoirs and dams that he promised to complete during his term, with about 43 inaugurated so far.

South-East Asia has suffered under heat waves recently, with temperatures soaring to records.

A town in the Philippines saw the mercury reach 53˚C in April, while cities from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur issued heat warnings this year. — Bloomberg

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