San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Agriculture

National Emergency Commission lifts drought warning for Pacific provinces

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) lifted a drought warning for Costa Rica’s Pacific region this week, saying that rainfall had gradually returned to normal levels.

The yellow alert was issued in July of last year for the provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas, where authorities registered a decrease in rainfall levels of up to 65 percent in Guanacaste and 30 percent in Puntarenas.

The preventive alert allowed government agencies to build water reservoirs and provide emergency food, water and salt for cattle, among other measures.

Earlier this month the government signed an emergency decree allocating ₡600 million ($1.1 million) to assist ranchers, fishermen and beekeepers hit by extreme weather conditions.

Severe drought conditions last year caused an approximately 75 percent reduction in pasture growth, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Luis Felipe Arauz reported in July 2014.

Production losses included 5.8 million liters of milk, 2.5 million kilograms of meat and 2,400 kilograms of honey.

Official data indicate that Costa Rica’s agricultural sector lost at least $25.6 million last year due to drought.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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