Colombian growers worried about frosts
Colombia, a country that is characterized by green areas and rain in most of its territory, is facing the worst drought in almost two decades. The effects have started to be considerably noticeable in some areas of the country, in which the Colombian Government has already declared a state of emergency.
El Niño, the weather phenomenon that threatens to impact Latin America this first half of the year, has already reached Colombia. The influence of this phenomenon intensifies the effects of the dry season, which will last until the end of the first quarter, according to forecasts of the Meteorology and Hydrology Institute of Colombia.
Right now, there are 124 municipalities suffering from water scarcity in Colombia.
The president of the Colombian Association of Flower Exporters (ASOCOLFLORES), Augusto Solano, said that the drought has started to affect negatively the flower crops in the savannah of Bogotá and that El Niño is causing a drop in the temperature, which affects the production.
Mr. Solano added that this situation would affect the stem growth in the medium term and that the flower growers are on the watch to the consequences of the expected water scarcity. All this is worrying the flower growing industry because Saint Valentine’s Day —a key season for the Colombian flower exports to United States— is approaching.
“The production of flowers for the Saint Valentine’s season is harvested by the end of January, so it is still growing by now”, Mr. Solano said.
He also explained that, historically, the temperature drops by this time of the year, but, with the influence of El Niño, this situation may severely affect the flower crops.
“This dryness and water scarcity increases the likelihood of frosts, which is why we are on the watch. Although we are in the low temperature season, we hope it will not have a great impact on the production. There are some areas within the savannah that are registering temperatures below zero, which worries us”, Mr. Solano said.
The president of ASOCOLFLORES announced a meeting with the growers in the next days to determine the degree in which this season may influence the flower crops and thus take measures to mitigate the negative impact on the sector.
*Edited and translated by Daltry D. Gárate