The lack of rains is evident since mid-March, so the plants of this cereal did not complete its development phase. The producers are worried, especially from Jipijapa.
Farmers in the cantons of Jipijapa, 24 de Mayo, Paján, Tosagua, Junín, Bolívar and Chone have problems due to the lack of water for the maize to reach the levels of development. According to Joffre Quimís, president of the maiceros of the province, the situation is alarming. “Of the 70,000 hectares that were planted in the province, 70% (49,000) broke down due to the water deficit,” said Frank García, an official of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) in Manabí.
The panorama, for example, in Jipijapa is worrisome. “We invested on the $ 1,500 per hectare, nature played us wrong this time, all we have left is to wait for the payment of Agricultural Insurance“, said anguished Quimís. “The dawn of April 23 fell a moderate rain in the province. However, the precipitations arrived very late for the maiceros “, assured the agricultural leader.
In most cases the plants did not comply with the process. Some came to expose the wick, even the ear was developed, but the filling of the grain was missing. “Until then he stayed, we are devastated; It was a disappointing year for the sector, “said Quimís.
Those who sowed at the beginning of February and whose plantations are located in areas with higher moisture density had better luck. This is the case of farmer Marcos Navarrete, who planted 10 hectares in the Miguelillo area of the Calderón parish in Portoviejo, in the southeast of Manabí.
“First we planted eight hectares at the end of January, these plants developed normally, now we are in full harvest, the other two hectares we sowed at the end of February did not have better luck due to the lack of rain.” Navarrete invested $ 1,200 in each hectare and aspires to have a slight gain.
Something similar happens in the area Las Mercedes, La Sequita sector, Montecristi canton. There, those who sowed benefited from the water that arrives through the La Esperanza-El Aromo aqueduct.
Evelin Baque, who lives in the area, commented that the irrigation of most of the cornfields was through spraying and even dripping. There are even initiatives of several farmers who opted for the construction of open-air albarradas, where they collect water and drip irrigation their plants.
They have diversified into other short-cycle crops, such as guanábana. Most of the 20,000 maize growers in Manabí, according to Quimís, made loans to BanEcuador for sowing, here the hope is to lose less because most of them contracted loans, but with the Agricultural Insurance. “We aspire to receive at least $ 800 per hectare, that’s what the insurer must pay us.”
For Garcia, a MAG official, the lack of rain is a factor that surprised farmers, “there are the consequences of climate change. The situation of the maiceros was very uncomfortable this year “. Last week the maize growers from Manabí met in Jipijapa. According to Quimís, they asked the Government to declare the sector in emergency due to the drought. Now, while waiting for an answer, the farmers evaluate the losses, while looking to the future for better harvests.
Few rains since March
The lack of water was evident since mid-March of this year, it has not rained especially in the dry areas, in the southwest, of the province.
28 thousand agricultural kits assigned the Government to the producers of the province of Manabí.
Farmers comment that the Agricultural Insurance gives back between $ 400 and $ 500, but they do not agree.(I)