San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Earthquake Devastates Agriculture Sector

VARA BLANCA, Heredia – The Jan. 8 earthquake caused losses of about ¢2 billion ($3.6 million) to Costa Rica´s agriculture sector.

Dairy and strawberry farms suffered the most, according to officials from the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG) who have paid a number of visits to the affected areas.

So far, 65 strawberry farms in the area of the Fraijanes, Vara Blanca and Poasito communities have been inspected for damage, and MAG said it hopes to visit 20 more later t his week.

The nine teams of four agricultural technicians each that visited the affected region have found three main problems: disrupted access to the farms, no electric power and broken irrigation pipes.

Arco Iris Farm, located in the Fraijanes community, suffered at least ¢50 million (about $91,000) in damage and lost production and is not expected to produce at its normal level for about nine months, said Guillermo Bidaurre, owner of the farm.

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