Coffee production has historically played an important role in Costa Rica's agricultural economy. | Photo: EFE
Coffee production has historically played an important role in Costa Rica’s agricultural economy. | Photo: EFE

(QCOSTARICA) Agricultural losses in Costa Rica from droughts and heavy rains this year are expected to exceed last year’s emergency conditions.

Costa Rican agriculture is likely to experience major damages this year as a result of extreme weather expected to be brought on by El Niño, the country’s Meteorological Institute, according to Prensa Latina.

El Niño, a climatic phenomenon originating in the Pacific Ocean that can trigger floods, droughts, and other extreme conditions around the world, is predicted to unleash an intense weather event this year disrupting regular climate patterns.

Costa Rican meteorological investigators predict that adverse weather conditions, including drought in the country’s Pacific Coast and Central Valley and heavy rains for Caribbean and northern regions, may extend into the beginning of 2016.

The difficult climatic conditions are expected to impact livestock raising, beekeeping, basic grains cultivation including rice, corn, and beans, as well as the country’s large fruit and sugarcane production, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

In 2014, Costa Rica provided emergency support to agricultural producers as the country struggled with El Niño weather events, experiencing crop loss amounting to US$13 million.

The Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) predicts the severity of this year’s agriculture losses will exceed the 2014 agricultural emergency.

Traditionally an agricultural economy, Costa Rica employs about 14% of its labor force agriculture, which makes up about 6.5 percent of the country’s GDP.

This article was originally published by teleSUR

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