Colombian drought hits avocado crop
Colombian avocado yields in the northern municipality of El Carmen de Bolivar are suffering due to four months of insufficient rain, website Eluniversal.com.co reported.
Avocado marketer Pedro Tapia Porto said intense heat over the summer and a prolonged drought has resulted in low fruit production this season.
He estimates farmers have lost between 30-40% of their total harvest this season because of the weather, the story reported.
Tapia Porto said that the fungus Phytophthora was also causing half the trees in older avocado plantations to die.
He said the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) technique to counter the fungi had been highlighted, but that many farmers were not following the process.
Tapia Porto said half of the Montes de Maria zone's 7,000 acres of avocado trees had been lost to the disease.
For the first three months of this year only about 10 million avocados had been harvested compared with 45 million the previous season.