El nino could affect Indonesia's food output

Updated: 2015-06-18 21:06


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JAKARTA -- El nino is forecast to hit Indonesia during planting season, which may lead the country to import foods to meet demand due to possible decline in supply, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said on Thursday.

The country meteorology and geophysics agency projects El nino will hit Indonesia from July to November.

"The government has to import (foods), if the El nino hits the country at planting season in October," Vice President Kalla said at Jakarta Convention Center.

"So we have to be ready to do it," he added.

El nino will cause long drought in several areas in Indonesia, which may trigger failure on harvest.

However, Kalla said that El nino this year is projected to be moderate.

In 1998, El nino attacked Indonesia with severe impact, pushing the government to import 5 million tons of foods, said Kalla.

Indonesian agriculture ministry plans to distribute 20 units pumps to the areas predicted to have drought.

El Nino is a warming of the sea's surface in the Pacific that occurs every four to 12 years.