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Monday, September 01 2014 @ 07:13 AM EDT

Drought Affecting Cattle In The "Dry Arch" of Los Santos Along Pacific Coast of Panama

WeatherWhile it's pouring rain in Panama City, cattle ranchers along the Pacific coast of the province of Los Santos are looking anywhere for ways to get water to their animals, to keep the drought from hitting them in their wallets. Assistance from the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA) in the form of grass, food and water for the livestock has not reached the farms, and cattle ranchers are watching their animals die, said Edilberto Peralta, one of the producers concerned. According to Peralta the MIDA must take urgent action, because otherwise there will be a crisis in the livestock and crop farms along the Pacific coast of Los Santos. "Cows are falling, milk production has dropped, and crops are drying up because it does not rain in this region, part of the dry arch" he said.

Evaluation - He said the MIDA has conducted a study in Santa Ana to support producers, but the aid is needed immediately to alleviate the situation. He acknowledged three "choppers" were sent to the region, but there is no sugar cane or corn to chop up as feed for the cattle, and the farmers have no economic resources (money).

Guzman de Gracia is another concerned producer in the sector of La Espigadilla of Los Santos, and he said the troughs are without water because only two showers have fallen this winter. "We want to help as soon as possible because there are more than 60 farmers in La Espigadilla who are in crisis, and about 20 farmers who are losing all their crops of peppers, rice, corn, tomatoes," explained the producer. (Mi Diario)

Editor's Comment: It seems strange to be talking about a drought in Panama, when the rest of the country is spending most of its time under water because of the constant downpours. I guess they call this area the "dry arch" for a reason. Another example of how there are many and varied "micro climates" in Panama.

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