Alarm for the drought in Uruguay: the government will extend the agricultural emergency until April

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The advisory commission on agricultural emergency will meet this Tuesday at the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries

Drought alarm in Uruguay: the government will extend the agricultural emergency until April

Dairy warns of the impact of the drought and asks for financial help to face it

The droughtthat affects the entire Uruguayan territory in recent weeks has become critical for the productive sector. Harvests are being seriously affected, with consequences that will last throughout the year, according to specialists.

The fields are devoid of pasture for cattle, and fodder purchase options are stretched thin. The dry artificial water bodies are observed, and fattening cattle, as well as those dedicated to dairying, are suffering a lot from the lack of rainfall.

Uruguayan government authorities say that the problems are growing day by day, both indairy, livestock and that production is lower. This also occurs on the farm, where fruits and vegetables perform poorly. The weather prospects are not good, and there are producers who can no longer irrigate their fields normally, because the water sources are dry.

The advisory commission on agricultural emergency will meet this Tuesday at the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries to present the situation report regarding the drought that affects the entire country, and that worsens due to the lack of rain in recent months. But the Uruguayan minister has already announced that the conditions are in place to extend the emergency declaration for three more months, until the end of April, according to reports in the Uruguayan press.

Drought alarm in Uruguay: the government will extend the agricultural emergency until April

The Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, Fernando Mattos, tours fields and talks with producers to reach solutions.

A decision already made for the countryside

Although the official meeting will take place, the government of the Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle PouIt has already decided that the state of emergency for the countryside must be maintained, according to reports from the newspaper la diaria. But this new evaluation of the state of the situation throughout the country may have new measures, which will be will add to those that are already being implemented.

The livestock minister assured that “the entire country is affected” by the drought, although he maintained that there is a greater impact in the center and north coast. To bring this to clearer numbers, Mattos said that “in three years and something, a year of water was lacking”, according to the newspaper The Country.

“At first glance we are seeing that the conditions are absolutely for us to have to renew the declaration for 90 more days, given that the rains between the previous declaration, which was on October 24 – let's remember that in 2021 we took the declaration in December , and last year it was in October- and during this time, in these 90 days, the rainfall was quite low”, said the Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, on Friday after visiting several fruit producers in Montevideo and Canelones.

Drought alarm in Uruguay: the government will extend the agricultural emergency until April

The entire territory of Uruguay is suffering the effects of the lack of rain Photo : Monica Silva

Complaint by milk producers

This Monday the minister and his advisers receive the unions of milk producers, who last week requested an urgent meeting due to the crisis that they live in the tambos due to the lack of water, even for human consumption, according to a statement they sent to the press a few days ago.

“It is clear that we are in an extraordinarily serious situation, at the entrance of the most important birthing season in Uruguay and that defines the potential for milk production throughout the year,” warn the dairy unions.

“A sharp drop in milk production will not only affect producers but also all those who make up the dairy chain and the country as a whole, since our sector is one of the main exporters”, they add in the statement.

Drought alarm in Uruguay: the government will extend the agricultural emergency until April

The weather prospects are not good, and there are producers who can no longer carry out irrigation normally of their field.

They also request a meeting from the Banco República board of directors, to analyze different options that allow a better use of credit, as well as the possibility of readjusting terms and maturities of current credits, add the statement. This point is key, because the procedures to access rural loans take a long bureaucratic time, which according to the rural unions, do not follow the terms that manage production.

Uruguay has suffered a drought since the beginning of spring 2022, with a lack of rain throughout the country. The situation worsens because it is repeated for the third consecutive year.

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