Chile declares agricultural emergency in hail-hit regions

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Chile declares agricultural emergency in hail-hit regions

Chilean Agriculture Minister Antonio Walker has declared an emergency in 10 areas of the central O'Higgins region that were heavily affected by a Nov. 12 hail storm.

The storm brought unusually large hailstones and in some cases caused farmers to lose their entire production in the important fruit-growing region.

The declaration is for the areas of Mostazal, Graneros, Codegua, Machalí, Rancagua, Requínoa, Rengo, Olivar, Malloa and Chimbarongo.

Walker said that by declaring the emergency the ministry will make 300 million pesos (US$445,000) available from the fund of the regional government as well as the help that the agricultural services will provide directly.

The decree was announced by Walker after touring the affected areas to inspect the damage and the progress being made in the recovery effects.

As part of these efforts, state entity the Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA) has also been carrying out training sessions for growers to teach them how best to manage hail-damaged orchards.

Walker also visited hail-affected regions in the southern Maule region.

Last week, numerous Chilean fruit grower associations released initial damage estimates, with a 7% reduction expected for cherry exports and a 4% reduction for blueberry exports.


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