PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) — Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to launch cloud seeding to produce rain to put out fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan on Borneo island which have blanketed large parts of the two countries and southern Thailand with haze.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Adenan Satem said cloud seeding would be carried out over the Indonesian provinces of Riau, North Sumatra and West Kalimantan, and if necessary extended to Jambi and Kalteng.
It would be implemented as soon as possible with the cost to be shared between the two countries, he told reporters after chairing the ministry’s post-Cabinet meeting, Wednesday.
The agreement was achieved at a meeting between senior officials of Malaysia and Indonesia held in Jakarta, Tuesday.
Adenan said the two countries also agreed on the importance of zero burning of agriculture waste as well as education of farmers.
He said a long-term solution to the annual haze problem was the target of the two countries.
Tuesday, Malaysian Palm Oil Association president Datuk Sabri Ahmad, who is also the chief executive officer of Golden Hope Plantations Berhad, said open burning could be replaced by the method of cutting down trees and letting the wood decay to be used as fertiliser.
He said a forum involving participants from the two countries would be held next week to discuss the methods to dispose of agriculture waste that could help small farmers to avoid open burning.