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El Niño a big player in Latin America and Caribbean

Published:Wednesday | December 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM


A new study by experts of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) has found that Latin America and Caribbean countries (LAC) will continue to be severely affected by the El Niño phenomenon that has been affecting the region since 2014.

The IICA said that El Niño has impacted and will further impact the productive, social and environmental sectors of several countries in the region.

"Although the phenomenon will not have the same impact on all countries in LAC, or on all crops in a single country, experts agree that the only way to anticipate, prevent and mitigate its impact is to incorporate risk management into agricultural planning; this is the only way in which agriculture can become more resilient in the face of extreme climatic events," the IICA noted.

The study was done by IICA specialists analysing the impact of El Niño on the agricultural sector of LAC, in order to support decision-makers in designing instruments and strategies to deal with the climatic phenomenon.

The study found that severe hydrological, meteorological and agricultural droughts are being forecast for Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and some regions of South America, and are expected to cause significant losses of staple grains, fruits and livestock.