Peru declares water emergency in several agricultural areas

On Tuesday, the Peruvian government declared a water emergency in several agricultural production areas in the country, due to the lack of rain, while setting up some measures to mitigate the impact of drought due to climate change.

In a resolution published in the official gazette, El Peruano, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation said the emergency would last for nearly 90 days and that it would cover 28 river valley units, located in the north, the center, and south of the country.

Peru, which is primarily a mining country, has recorded a sustained growth of agricultural exports in the last few years, due to the expansion of the agricultural frontier, thanks to new irrigation systems and investments in the sector.

Last year, agricultural exports, mainly of table grapes, asparagus, avocado, and mangoes to the United States, China, and Europe, amounted to US $5.1 billion, accounting for nearly 15% of all the country's shipments.

To deal with the drought, the government has set up a series of measures, such as installing emergency committees in the affected areas, rationalizing water resources, and controlling the distribution of river flows, among other actions.

In a statement, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation said that, to date, there were 37 valleys in emergency and 350,000 hectares affected by the drought.

"The lack of rain and climate change are causing this drought, not only in Piura, but in other parts of the coast, mountains and jungle," said the sector's minister, Jose Manuel Hernandez in a statement.

In recent weeks, the lack of rain has made it difficult to control forest fires, which have destroyed some 22,000 hectares of natural and protected forests in the north and south of the country, according to official reports.

Peru is home to one-tenth of the Amazon rainforest and is one of the 10 countries with the highest biodiversity in the world.


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