Uruguay's Minister of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries Fernando Mattos Tuesday announced that the Government of President Luis Lacalle Pou was extending the agricultural and livestock emergency until April.
The agricultural emergency that was due to expire on Jan. 24 has been extended until April at least, Mattos said. The measure encompasses the livestock, dairy, forestry, horticulture, fruit, agriculture, poultry, and beekeeping sectors nationwide, it was explained.
Through this step, producers will have access to subsidies from the Agricultural Emergency Fund.
We are in a drought situation in a good part of Argentina, Uruguay and the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, Mattos also noted. He also pointed out that weather forecasts were not encouraging, with only two modest rainfalls expected, which would not reverse the widespread crisis stemming from the prolonged drought of over three years.
Mattos also pointed out that the subsidies would go straight to the producers, at a rate of 2%, to safeguard the productive systems. It is a direct help for the producers, the minister said. He also admitted that over 1,300 applications for these subsidies had been received so far, more than half of them in January.
The trend will continue, because, with the worsening of the general situation, this is a great tool, which grants fresh resources for financing and the way to face the problem, Mattos argued.
The official also explained that the country still had enough fruits and vegetables, so there were no plans to import them. He also said there was a slowdown in cattle slaughtering but insisted the beef supply was guaranteed.
The extension of the emergency came after a meeting Tuesday 17 of the Agricultural Emergency Advisory Committee, which was also attended virtually by Livestock General Director Fernanda Maldonado, and representatives from the Ministry of Economy and the Uruguayan Meteorological Institute (Inumet).