Fresh Plaza reports, picture from Los Tiempos:
300 hectares of banana have been lost
The department’s tropical region has been affected by heavy rains and the southern cone by droughts. According to reports, both natural phenomena have damaged almost 10 thousand hectares of cultivation: 7 thousand hectares of fruit trees have been affected in Chapare, 2 thousand hectares of corn have been lost in Pasorapa, 80 hectares of watermelon and tomato in Omereque, and Aiquile also reports damages.
Pasorapa has already declared itself to be in an emergency situation due to the drought, while the municipalities of Omereque and Aiquile are preparing their declarations. The municipalities of Villa Tunari, Entre Ríos and Chimoré declared themselves a disaster area in January.
The mayor of the municipality of Omereque, Hector Arce, said there were no rains in the area south of the department in February, so the crops dried up.
Due to the lack of cisterns, producers improvised with trucks to load tanks to bring water to their crops, seeking to avoid further losses.
The general secretary of the Mayor’s Office of Pasorapa, Cinthia Avila, said they had planted 2 thousand hectares of fodder maize in December, but that it had completely dried up due to the absence of rains.
In 2018, the municipality reported no drought, but in 2017 it recorded losses due to this phenomenon. Back then, the national government committed to the drilling of two wells, which were completed last year, but that still don’t work because they have no electricity.
“We can’t use them because there is no electricity and, as a municipality, we can not install it because it requires a heavy investment and we do not have resources,” Avila said.
Over the weekend, the municipality of Colomi was affected by the overflowing of rivers and the Corani dam. These events damaged a bridge, dragged down houses and damaged some homes.
The coordinator of the Agricultural Chamber of Cochabamba, Rolando Morales, said that 300 of the 7 thousand hectares affected in the tropics were of banana crops.