The floods affecting Peru have caused losses of at least US$645m in the agriculture and livestock sectors according to a statement from the National Convention of Peruvian Agriculture (Conveagro).
The association said in a statement that heavy rains and flooding had destroyed around 92,000ha of banana, sugar cane and rice crops, among other products, mainly in the north of the country.
Some 6,000km of roads have been damaged or destroyed by the rains that began in December, caused by the greater warming of the Pacific off the coast of Peru and Ecuador, known as El Niño Costero.
“Most of those affected are small producers, many of whom require their loans to be rescheduled with zero-rate loans or through mechanisms to purchase debt," said Conveagro’s president Héctor Carrasco.
The Peruvian Council of Ministers has approved an Emergency Decree that will allow the implementation of a US$42m programme developed by the agriculture ministry to help affected growers.
This includes the immediate allocation of US$29m to repair damaged infrastructure such as canals and reservoirs and a payment of US$307 per hectare of damaged production up to a maximum US$1,231 per hectare.
In addition, there will be funds to restore plantations of bananas, lemons, mangos and other fruit trees directly affected by the floods.