August 13th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province, which has been especially hard hit by the worst drought the country has seen in 75 years, has already experienced nearly $38 million in losses, according to a July 30th estimate by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG).
The drought is being blamed on the El Niño weather phenomenon, and is expected to continue in the coming months, according to the National Meteorological Institute (IMN).
Among the most affected crops are sugarcane, rice, corn, oranges, mangos and watermelons.
To put the seriousness of the drought in perspective, Juan Carlos Fallas, director of IMN, said last month that June rainfall totals were only two liters per square meter, compared to a normal figure of 150 liters per square meter, or just 1.3%.
The drought has swept across nearly a third of Central America.
In Nicaragua, the first harvest, which takes place between May and August, has yielded nothing, according to Nicaragua’s national farmers and ranchers union. Some 2,500 cattle have died and 700,000 more are in critical health as they roam dry pastures.