Uruguay will enter an agricultural emergency due to the water deficit that various parts of the country are experiencingdeclared the Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, Fernando Mattos. This declaration implies, for example, the release of funds such as the Emergency Agricultural Fund and steps to arrange credit lines and help the availability of water for livestock.
Mattos assured that an emergency will surely be declared specifically in the departments of the Uruguayan center such as Paysandú, Rio Negro, Durazno and Florida, existing the possibility of spreading to others. The data on where an emergency will be declared is not yet confirmed, but it is possible that there are more affected sections in addition to those four departments.
“We do not have exactly the sections that are going to be affected, we are talking between four or five departments. There is no department that is in its entirety”, He commented. He recalled that it is the Agricultural Emergency Committee that makes the recommendations to the minister and that it does so “based on objective data” and not according to “perceptions.”
“Clearly this triggers the recognition of a factual situation that is quite widespread in the country. Remember that this same year we were in an agricultural emergency. A year ago, on December 9, it was declared and we had at this time of the year 10 million hectares in this situation. At this moment the affected area is not so much, but let us remember that it is a dynamic event, ”Mattos said at a press conference.
Due to the drought, Firefighters registered on December 29 46 interventions for igneous sources near metropolitan areas, reported Underlined. According to the fire department spokesman, Pablo Benítez, there were fires of all magnitudes and, luckily, they could be controlled.
Given the circumstances, the minister considered that one of the sectors of agriculture most affected is livestock, since it is “more generalized in a part of the territory and occupies the fields that have less water storage capacity”.
The agricultural sector, for its part, it is affected in rainfed crops (farmland that does not have irrigation and only benefits from rainwater). “Notwithstanding the fact that many crops received sporadic rains, we are in some cases in a critical phase, mainly in the case of corn and some planted soybeans, which is the crop with the largest area and the largest surface area,” said Mattos. In the opposite sense, the grain that is being favored is rice, since it requires a lot of light and is under irrigation, so it does not have major problems.
The same happens with other crops such as grapes for wines that, as they work with an irrigation system, are not affected by the summer drought. “The same as sheep farming, the sheep always when it is dry works properly”He added.
He also reported that there are several families in rural areas who are without water and that the municipalities are paying attention and providing the resource. “One of the aid that the Emergency Agricultural Fund generates, which is not a very agile or immediate response, because being drilling, lighting water is a task that requires prior geology studies, availability of equipment for lighting.” He added that the departmental governments and OSE (state water company) are responding to emergency situations.
Decreeing the agricultural emergency means, first of all, release funds that depend on the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries such as the Emergency Agricultural Fund.
“Tomorrow we will have a meeting with the table of the Congress of Mayors to coordinate actions, including eventually transferring some funds, part of which are reimbursable, fundamentally as it was used this year for the lighting of water, which is the cleaning of cutwaters. or springs to help the availability of water for livestock and the watering hole, “explained Mattos.
It also means starting negotiations with Banco República to have credit lines to attend to the emergency. “The details will be announced by Banco República itself. This has been very effective last year and also (with) the FAE we will be able to help those smaller producers who do not have the capacity to receive credit through the financial system ”, he added.
On the other hand, the minister announced that The grazing permit on public roads is going to be extended to all departments, except in Montevideo. “We are going to extend the measure that has already been in force for a few days with the corresponding recommendations. (…) There must be a control of its owner, we must notify the Ministry of the Interior where it will be grazed and some sanitary measures that we will also transmit to the population so that they can somehow mitigate the effects but also save what is capital in the most affected areas, “said the minister.