Sat, 05 Jul 2003

125 ha rice fields waterless

BEKASI: About 300 farmers of Lenggahsari village in Cabangbungin regency asked the government on Friday for irrigation pumps to irrigate 125 hectares of rice fields.

"We asked Mayor Wikanda Darmawidjaja to provide us with irrigation pumps to channel water from Ciherang River uphill to our rice fields," said Marba, one of the farmers, as quoted by Antara.

He claimed that he had lost millions of rupiah due to a lack of water to irrigate his land. "Three months ago, the paddy dried up and died. Now I cannot pay my debt for the seeds."

Another farmer, Tohir, questioned why mayoralty officials had done nothing about addressing the problems farmers faced due to the annual dry season, which had been exceptionally harsh this year.

Separately, Alexander Doloksaribu, who is deputy chief of Bekasi Council Commission A for administration, said irrigation pumps could not be procured immediately because the council first had to deliberate the matter before allotting money to buy pumps. -- JP