Of the total irrigated area of 7.1 million hectares, Indonesia ranked the 6th largest irrigation land in the world, ensuring that everyone has access to good and fair food.
BALI, Indonesia, Sept. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The 3rd World Irrigation Forum (WIF) & the 70th International Executive Council Meeting (IECM) are now taking place at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center, until September 7, 2019. Hosting the event, Indonesian government under the Directorate General of Water Resources (SDA) of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing (PUPR) is using the opportunity to share knowledge and innovation that will accelerate irrigation capacities for the nation’s food security.
Indonesia’s Minister of Public Works and Housing, Basuki Hadimuljono, delivered his speech at the 3rd World Irrigation Forum, Monday September 2 2019.
"Conflicts plaguing irrigation and food security are the world’s crucial problem, including Indonesia. Moreover, irrigated agricultural land is now experiencing a decline, from 50 ha/1,000 people to 42 ha/1,000 people, proving a contradiction toward world’s growing population," said Felix Reinders, President of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID).
According to a data by ICID, the accessible water resources potential of Indonesia is about 2,530 km³. Yet, only two percent or about 96 m³/capita/year is being utilized, with 76% of it being used for agriculture.
Felix added, "We need to double our efforts going forward because the needs for food will be doubled in 2050."
In Indonesia, the Directorate General of Water Resources has taken numerous steps for the innovation and modernization of irrigation. "Efforts have served to increase water use efficiency and effective systems in many areas beyond technology. One example is drip irrigation, that has proven effective in horticulture. Entering a new 4.0 era, the irrigation system should also own a Command Room, with the ability to control water flow in real time," said Hari Suprayogi, Director General of SDA.
The Minister of Public Works and Housing (PUPR), Basuki Haldimuljono, added. the efficiency will be successful if we understand the need to save every drop of water. "It equals a high level of productivity, moreover with the ever-changing challenges of irrigation in the past decades. This has affected a rapid change of policies and new solutions, for instance, three years ago Indonesia may only focus on water management. Yet, today we focus on improving water and food security in the environmental gradation," said Basuki.
Environmental Contributions of a Dam
Improving water security, as many as 65 dams are planned to construct in Indonesia. Today, 57 dams are on progress, while the other eight dams are in the process of tendering. The impacts are not merely for food security, but also providing daily water supply, generating electricity, as well as avoiding devastating watersheds’ damages.
Participated in the forum, Happy Mulia, Head of Cimanuk Cissanggarung River Basin Area Center, said, "Deforestation and plant species that are not resistant to erosion have caused sediment and contaminants to rivers, which could affect critical damages of Indonesian watersheds. This will disrupt irrigated areas and jeopardize our environment, so we need a solid collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry to help educate people about the importance of protecting forest and environment."
Indonesia has set to increase food production by developing one million hectares of new irrigation network and rehabilitating three million hectares of the existing irrigation network. This can be achieved only when the entire community is well educated to the knowledge and experience, as stated by Felix Reinders, "We need to encourage people to bring up knowledge, technology, and capacity for our farmers. Therefore, it’s important for all people to continuously exchange and share the experiences and ideas to promote sustainable development and innovation through irrigation."
Bali, the host city, continues to practice innovative solutions, with a foundation of life principle that is aligned with nature. "Bali is renowned with the ancient irrigated-agricultural practice called Subak, that is awarded by UNESCO as World Heritage Cultural Landscape. Therefore, we will consistently preserve our food security, with more emphasis on nature conservation, as well as human culture and behavior," said Tjokorda Oka Arta Ardana Sukawati, Deputy Governor of Bali.
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