Only 11 percent of paddy fields receive dam water: President

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has stated that the government will continue to build dams to irrigate paddy fields since the existing dams can irrigate only 11 percent, or 780 thousand hectares, of paddy fields.

“However, after the construction of 58 dams is completed, the number will jump to 20 percent. It is very small. Hence, more dams are still needed to irrigate our farmers paddy fields,” he noted at the Presidents Vision broadcast by a private television station on Sunday night.

Eight of the 58 dams that have been completed comprise the Raknamo and Rotiklot dams in East Nusa Tenggara and the Tanju and Bendungan Mila dams in West Nusa Tenggara.

According to the Central Statistics Agency, the area of paddy fields stood at 7.1 million hectares in 2018, down from 7.75 million hectares a year earlier.

President Jokowi remarked that the government has extended village funds since 2015 to develop village infrastructure, such as roads, village markets, irrigation networks, and retention basins.

The government disbursed village funds worth Rp20.7 trillion in 2015 and raised the amount to Rp47 trillion in 2016. The amount of village funds in 2018 and 2019 reached Rp60 trillion respectively.

The infrastructure built using village funds covers 158 thousand kilometers of village roads, 6,900 village markets, and 1.02 million meters of village bridges.

The 3,194-kilometer roads include those built near the borders between Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia and Nusa Tenggara Timur and Timor Leste.

Source: ANTARA News