Flooding in the west damaged Cayo’s agriculture sector
The Ministries of Disaster Risk Management and Agriculture have submitted a preliminary report on the damages caused to the agriculture sector in the west. The flooding over the weekend led to many farmers relocating their cattle and livestock to higher grounds. While there was not a significant loss of animals many farmers in the Cayo District lost crops to the high waters. Minister of Disaster Risk Management Orlando Habet explained that GOB is able to access monies from a contingency fund to purchase the supplies needed to assist farmers who have been affected.
Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management: “A lot of the production for agriculture food items in the Spanish Lookout Cayo area was affected especially soybeans, black beans and red beans and also corn and some of these were already the process for harvesting had already commenced so when the rains came and the flooding increased some of these went under water, some them are still under water so maybe there would be a certain percentage that will still be able to be harvested however spoilage commenced very quickly because they’re soaked with water, they have to be put through a drying process which is also expensive but also the cost for harvesting increases because the machinery, the combine which normally does the harvesting for corn and beans will not be able to pick them up off the ground so if they want to really get some of that product that’s now in the ground it will involve manual harvesting which is very expensive and very inefficient. Many times the water soaks into the seeds and they start germinating even before they are able to harvest them so there will be significant losses but as the Colonel mentioned we would be able to do an estimate after the waters receded. However the Minister of Agriculture has already deployed his teams from the Agriculture Department to start doing the assessments where the water has commenced to recede and they can start to do some of those assessments.”