Torrential rains caused by El Niño have led to widespread flooding in northern Peru. Days of intense rainfall caused the Tumbes river to overflow, leaving thousands of hectares of agricultural land underwater.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, some 7,500ha have been affected, including 2,800ha of organic and conventional bananas and 200ha of lemons. Arturo Carrillo Peña, president of the Tumbes Users Board, losses are estimated to be in excess of US$4m, with around 6,500 producers affected.
Agriculture minister Juan Manuel Benites declared a state of emergency after visiting the area on Saturday. He pledged US$18m of financial aid to deal with the crisis and said more funds would be made available if necessary.
Benites also flew to Lambayeque and Piura, where more than 500ha of production has been lost, prompting the regional council of Piura to also declare a state of emergency.