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Indonesian farmers to receive post-eruption aid
Publication Date : 05-03-2014
The Indonesian government is to provide seeds to victims of the eruptions from Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra and Mount Kelud in Kediri, East Java, to help recover their livelihoods, says a minister.
Agriculture Minister Suswono said on Tuesday that his ministry had allocated 129 billion rupiah [US$11 million] to mitigate the impact the Mt. Sinabung eruption had on farmland and another 103 billion rupiah to farmers affected by the Mt. Kelud eruption.
He said that of the 129 billion rupiah allocated to farmers living nearby Mt. Sinabung, 2.7 billion rupiah had been disbursed in the form of seeds.
“We are focusing on how to provide seeds right now,” he told a press conference at the ministry.
“We will continue giving more seeds to the victims.”
In addition to the 2.7 billion rupiah, he said the ministry would allocate another 42.6 billion rupiah worth of seeds around 19 villages around Mt. Sinabung.
Sinabung’s eruption destroyed around 50,921 hectares (ha) of farmland in 14 subdistricts in Karo regency, North Sumatra, causing an estimated loss of 1.3 trillion rupiah to 1.5 trillion, according to Agriculture Ministry data.
Most of the commodities farmed in those areas are vegetables, rice, cacao, coffee and corn.
The Mt. Sinabung eruption claimed at least 17 lives and displaced more than 30,000 people.
Meanwhile, the ministry may need to spend an estimated 103 billion rupiah to assist in the recovery of farmland destroyed in Mt. Kelud’s eruption, according to Suswono.
The loss caused by Mt. Kelud in the agriculture sector is estimated to be around 377 billion rupiah, according to the ministry’s director general for horticulture, Hasanuddin Ibrahim.
Rice, cacao, coffee, corn, chili, tomato, orange and mango are among commodities grown around Mt. Kelud.
Farmland destroyed in this eruption amounted to 4,136 ha in Malang, East Java, and 13,194 ha in Kediri.
The 1,731-metre high Mt. Kelud is among 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia. The archipelago is prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes due to its geographical location on the Ring of Fire — a series of fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and Southeast Asia.