The Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, Fernando Mattos, announced Tuesday that as a result of the water deficit there is “a very high probability” that the declaration of an agricultural emergency will be reiterated as declared in October.
“We are in a situation that is getting worse,” he said.
The hierarch convened the Agricultural Emergency Committee to discuss the possibility of reiterating the agricultural emergency.
That declaration was decreed on October 24, in the middle of spring, due to water and forage deficit.
“It would be the third year that we have a water deficit, already pointing to a drought if it is not reversed“, he pointed out this Tuesday at a press conference.
“The situation is complex from the point of view of production, there is a lack of water in the subsoilthe map that points to soil moisture is stained red and the index that shows the forage or vegetation condition has been taking on worrying shades and that will worsen as there is no more rain,” added the chief.
Mattos said that the La Niña phenomenon is what is causing this drought and that it would only be returning to normal in mid-February. “Last year it was similar but on January 15 the rains began and we had relief. Hopefully they can be repeated this year but the forecasts are not encouraging“.
What is the agricultural emergency?
The declaration of agricultural emergency allows a set of assistance to producers who are having difficulties in their systems
Luis María Carresse, director of the Decentralization Unit of the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP), highlighted, in October when the declaration was made, that every year they enter the Emergency Agricultural Fund (FAE) about $40 million, which can be accumulated. However, that has not been able to happen because since March 2020 it was necessary to resort to these resources, since there are already four declarations of agricultural emergency due to drought.
The FAE is nourished by general incomea varied set of contributions and the collection of current operations and collections of expired operations.
The support is basically aimed at family-scale producers, however there are Banco República services aimed at producers of other sizes.
After pointing out that there is a very demanding comptroller of everything that is done, based on the fact that the General Directorate of Rural Development administers the fund that is managed by Decentralization, Carresse explained that the producer is given a credit for which every $3 that Microfinance from BROU provides MGAP with $1 as a subsidy.
In coordination with the departmental municipalities, in addition, for every $1 that the MGAP contributes, the municipality is obliged to make the same contribution and that money reaches the producers for free use, but in investments related to the problem: cleaning of embankments, purchase of pumps or drinkers and rations, for example. In this case, the producer reimburses 25% of the $7,500 he receives.