Drought caused by the lack of rain in the coastal region, has caused heavy losses in plantations of more than $ 220 million. About 78 thousand hectares of rice and some 110 000 hectares of corn have been lost, according to studies by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries (MAGAP) and the National Secretariat of Risk.
Five provinces in the region were declared emergency, according to Emergency Operations Center of Ecuador (COE). The worst affected provinces are Guayas and Los Ríos (90% damage). In Santa Elena, El Oro, and Manabi have dried around 15 000 hectares of rice, according to early reports ($ 156 million losses only in rice production).
On the other hand, the Government decided to suspend exports to Colombia that wasready to buy some 150 000 tonnes this year. This measure will prevent domestic shortages, as the 90 000 tonnes stored in the National Storage Unit and 50 000 tonners are in the hands of industry-by-sector authorities used to meet domestic demand.
A similar crisis hit the corn growers. The cost cities in emergency lost about 110 thousand hectares. The corn growers have lost about 71 million dollars at a rate of $ 13 per quintal. The drought could end up with another 100 thousand hectares of maize.
Source: Daily Expreso