Ecuador braced for El Niño losses


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Maura Maxwell



Ecuador braced for El Niño losses

The weather phenomenon could affect almost a third of Ecuadorean banana farms, conference told

Ecuador braced for El Niño losses

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Almost a third of Ecuador’s banana plantations could be affected by El Niño in the coming months according to a panel of experts at the XII International Banana Forum, which took place last week (w/c 12 October) in Guayaquil.

The conference heard how the phenomenon is expected to reach its peak as soon as the end of this year, bringing heavy rains and an increased incidence of pests and diseases like Black Sigatoka.

Rodney Martinez of the International Research Centre for El Niño said current atmospheric and sea temperatures and other parameters showed many similarities with those of 1997/98 when El Niño wreaked havoc in the Andean country, affecting around 40 per cent of its banana production.

In addition to the immediate damage to plantations caused by flooding, growers face quality issues and even the loss of entire plantations depending on how long the land remains submerged.



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