Uruguay extended the agricultural emergency until the end of April and added more productive items
The measure includes soft loans, tax deferrals and a reduction in service fees
To date, 1,300 producers have registered for make use of the benefit of the Emergency Agricultural Fund.
The Uruguayan government ratified this Tuesday, January 17, the measure that it had already announced for the countryside, given the critical situation the country is going through due to the lack of rain. As announced by the Minister of Livestock, Fernando Mattos, the measure was in force, in principle, until January 23, but the Executive Branch decreed its extension for 90 days, “at least”, after noticing a continuation of the water and fodder deficit in various areas of the territory.
Mattos announced that other items of agricultural production are also being added to the emergency declaration: Now it also reaches the poultry, beekeeping and forestry sectors. “The situation is critical throughout the country,” warned the Uruguayan minister. “And if it doesn't rain, we're going to have an even worse situation,” he added in statements to the press.
The Uruguayan minister of livestock pointed out the lack of moisture in the soil and said that the problem is expanding. “We are in a situation of droughtin much of Argentina, Uruguay and the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil,” he said at a press conference.
Meeting of the National Emergency and Risk Reduction Board of Uruguay, to resolve the application of measures to the field.
Meeting to work on the measures
Following the meeting of the Agricultural Emergency Committee, it was reported that 1,300 producers have registered to date to make use of the benefit of the Emergency Agricultural Fund.
To grant economic relief to the affected producers, the government has three fundamental points: soft loans that are negotiated with the Banco de la Republic, postponement payment of the rent to the National Colonization Institute and a discount on the monthly electrical energy bill. This last point is key, since producers are giving away 24 hours a day, and in many cases this scenario is already becoming unsustainable, because the bodies of water are dry and so are the artificial wells.< /p>
Juan Ignacio Buffa, undersecretary of the Uruguayan Ministry of Livestock, was asked about the possibility of drillingin the soil to implement irrigation. In this sense, he affirmed that the lack of water is a problem present throughout the territory and that small dairy and horticultural producers are the ones who find it more difficult to deal with it. He added that the Congress of Mayors is analyzing the possibility of developing a definitive solution regarding the perforations.
In addition to livestock, dairy, horticulture and agriculture, the resolution declaring a new Agricultural Emergency , included the poultry, beekeeping and forestry sectors.
The president of the Congress of Mayors, Fernando Echeverría, analyzed the “fundamental role” of departmental governments in assisting family producers affected by the drought for several months. And the commitment to redouble the effort to support producers who are “entering CTI” because “the situation is very serious”.
All of Uruguay in red
The Institute of Meteorology reported that the entire Uruguayan territory has been under a drought since October. On the map illustrating the situation between October 11, 2022 and January 10, 2023, there is not a square meter that is not dry.
The disseminated map distinguishes by six categories: no drought, abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought and exceptional drought.
Thus, 20.51% of the territory, which equivalent to 3,623,300 hectares, it is in extreme drought. Severe drought is the one that affects the country the most, with 42.14% of the territory. The moderate drought at 33.02% and the abnormally dry state at 2.48%.
The Government received reports from the Uruguayan Institute of Meteorology that “are not very auspicious” for the interests producers, it will rain twice in the remainder of January.
Meteorologist José Serra was consulted by Montevideo Portal about it, and said that there is a trend towards 28 and January 29 on the passage of a cold front that can lead to “significant rainfall.” But this would not be the final solution for the field, but a first indication of the beginning of a change, since given the current situation of water deficit, it is already known that there are winter crops that will affect their performance.
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