Freshwater swampland as food buffer during El Niño: Case study in South Kalimantan, Indonesia

Anna Hairani1*, Muhammad Noor1, Muhammad Alwi1, Muhammad Saleh1, Yanti Rina2, Izhar Khairullah1, Hendri Sosiawan3, Nani Heryani3, Mukhlis Mukhlis1, and Ismon Lenin1
The freshwater swampland in Indonesia covers an area of 13.28 million hectares, with approximately 8.88 million hectares suitable for agriculture. However, only 1.55 million hectares are utilized for paddy field. These lands are predominantly found in several provinces such as South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, South Sumatra, Jambi, Riau, Lampung, and Papua. The impact of El Niño on Indonesian freshwater swampland has positive effects. During extreme El Niño climatic conditions in 2015, there was an expansion in the utilization of freshwater swamplands compared to normal climate conditions. In the region of South Kalimantan, the influence of El Niño led to an 11.06% increase in the rice planting area, which consequently resulted in an overall harvested area increase of 13.20% and a 12.49% rise in rice production compared to a normal year. In order to optimize the potential of freshwater swamplands as a food buffer during El Niño, it is imperative to intensify efforts by focusing on the improvement of water management infrastructure and the implementation of integrated crop management such as cultivating adaptive varieties, applying the Legowo planting system with ratios of 2:1 or 4:1, utilizing fertilization practices to meet crop requirements, adopting integrated pest management practices, and embracing mechanized harvest techniques.
Keywords: El Niño, food buffer, freshwater swampland, Oryza sativa, rice.
1National Research and Innovation Agency, Research Organization for Agriculture and Food, Bogor 16911, West Java, Indonesia.
2National Research and Innovation Agency, Research Organization for Governance, Economy, and Community Welfare, Jakarta 12710, Indonesia.
3National Research and Innovation Agency, Research Organization for Earth Sciences and Maritime, Bogor 16911, West Java, Indonesia.
*Corresponding author (annagp8@gmail.com).