San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Agriculture Hit Hard by Rains

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla expanded on Tuesday the National Emergency Decree issued Sept. 30 to include the agriculture sector, which was walloped by severe rainfall last week.

The president said that the government will bring “attention to the necessities of farmers” in light of the new inclusion.

The Agriculture Ministry (MAG) reported total and partial losses of vegetables on 380 hectares of farmland and a 40 to 60 percent decrease in milk production after last week’s rains flooded fields across the country.

The ministry also reported 20,000 hectares of coffee plants have been affected by ojo de gallo, a humidity-provoked fungus that eats the leaves of coffee plants.

On Wednesday, MAG officials were evaluating the economic consequences of the losses, and said they will place a figure on the damages by the end of the week.

The government has requested that farmers who have incurred losses due to the weather contact their local agriculture ministry office and report their damages. Financial aid will be determined at a later date.

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