Sunday, October 15, 2006

Droughts and Pestilence

"I believe in God, I just call it nature"

Global Warming? ! I have lot of trouble with the bumpf and bang with a lot of the claims, i.e. “Water World” is coming. However one thing is for sure, the world driest continent, Australia is suffering its worst drought in 100 years!

Interestingly, Australian Agriculture accounts for 65% to 75% (figures vary according to source) of all water usage. Despite what some say, the poor maligned and gouged urban dweller is not the major culprit in water usage. In fact, urban usage accounts for less than 10% of water usage. Even if all the so called water saving schemes were successful, the best you could hope for would be a 3% reduction in water usage (bit like wind power, makes you feel good but contributes sweet FA to the solution...

Of course, one has to seriously question the logic of growing water intensive crops like cotton and rice on the driest continent in the world. To add to the current distress brought on by the drought, many areas of Australia are besieged by Bushfires (or wildfires as they say in the US).

So what does this have to do with Indonesia you say? Well I admit the link is tenuous its telling that Indonesia. Large parts of which is awash (excuse the pun) with water pays no attention to this valuable resource. The opportunity to a become the regional food producer is just begging and with such a large rural population, the mission could not possibly be classed as too difficult or out of reach.

Despite the protests of good economic performance! It is simply a disgrace that Indonesia is a net importer of basic food staples such as rice and corn. Trips to Mecca on the government dollar or gratuitous trips across the world bleating what a great place to invest Indonesia is will not rectify the fundamental inadequate government planning and “the nose in trough” attitude of most politicians.

It is blight on all politicians that a resource rich country like Indonesia has so many people in poverty when cash rich countries like Australia are just begging for solutions to their own problems.

Some interesting (disturbing) facts, Indonesia imports:

a. Rice;
b. Corn:
c. Oil: and
d. Coal.

Not because she does not have sufficient but due to sheer ineptitude by those who are supposed to be leading the nation.

(I will add some pictures later, for some reason they won't load today)



Strange how a country whose citizens love to say belum makan nasi, belum makan have to import so much of the stuff in a country whose landscape is synonymous with rice fields for as far as the eye can see.

Rice imports are the big earner for the Badan Urusan Logistic Nasional (BULOG), the infamous well stocked ATM machine for the Golkar Party and its cronies in the past.

SBY has tried to restrict rice imports since taking office but low and behold that loyal former BULOG Chairman and current Golkar Chairman; Jusuf Kalla has overruled him every time. Who is running Indonesia these days?

oigal said...

I know its not as easy as I make it, a lot has to do with traditional plots becoming to small (every son gets a split)to be viable and poor farm practices.

However with in excess of 80 million people living below the poverty line (not the government version but a realistic one) and more and more people moving from the land to live in poverty in the city..Its time that government showed some ethics and leadership.

As for who is running Indonesia.. a oft ask question since the fall (?) of the new order