Northern Peru has been severely hit by heavy rains in recent days, which have caused many floods throughout the region. 5,000 hectares of crops have been seriously affected after the overflowing of the river Tumbes, with organic bananas, rice, lemon, cocoa and fruit trees as the most affected crops.
"A flood of this magnitude had not been recorded since 1998. Despite the preventive measures enforced by both the Ministry of Agriculture and the producers, it has not been possible to reduce the damage," explains Raúl Villa, spokesperson of APPBOBA (Association of Small Producers of Organic Bananas of Brujas Alta).
Given that the area is mostly devoted to the production of organic bananas, the export of this Peruvian product has stagnated and the situation won't change for a few weeks.
"The inevitable delay in shipments to the United States, the main importer of Peruvian organic bananas, will be of at least two weeks. With an estimated demand of 40 containers a month, valued at $ 14,000 per container, it is expected that this natural disaster will severely affect organic banana growers in Tumbes and Piura," confirms the representative of APPBOBA.
It has been forecast that the rains will stop on 15 March; by that time, it will be possible to determine the extent of the losses and the date when production will resume. "We hope to be able to continue growing and marketing our organic bananas soon and that the consequences of phenomena such as El Niño are not repeated," concludes Raúl Villa.
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