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Nicaragua: 70% of bananas lost to the drought

Roger Portobanco, the treasurer of the Association of Banana Producers from Rivas (Aplari) and producer of bananas from Tolesmayda, in the municipality of Buenos Aires, asked the government to support producers from this department that are affected by drought.

70 percent of the 10,000 banana blocks planted annually in Rivas have been lost and only 30 percent of the producers are cultivating at a very high cost, because of the investment they have been making in irrigation systems since November last year.

Portobanco stressed that the drought and water shortages for irrigation had caused Rivas to lose 70 percent of their banana plantations.

He added that only "30 percent of the producers are harvesting bananas, as their lands and crops are near the lake. The rest of the producers are hoping there's a good winter so they can have a good 2017 harvest because there is no water for irrigation anywhere."

"In other countries, producers can insure their production and when there are problems due to some pest, a drought, or a flood, among others, the insurance backs them up and pays them their investment. We don't have that here," said Portobanco.

Jorge Masis, president of the Cooperative of Banana Producers from Rivas (Cooplari) said the drought was also affecting the commercial area of the banana sector. "This has affected banana exports and the projects to industrialize the product, such as the installation of a banana processing plant," he said.


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