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GIEWS Update-detail
FAO/GIEWS Global Watch

FLOODING IN CENTRAL BOLIVIA AFFECTS FOOD AND CASH CROP PRODUCTION

21 February 2005
Heavy rains have caused the Rio Grande river in the North of Santa Cruz department to overflow, affecting several communities in the lowland provinces of Santistevan and Warnes. If precipitations continue a state of emergency may be declared in the next few days. The department of Santa Cruz is the main producing area of Bolivia, accounting for about 50 per cent of cereals and 95 per cent of industrial crops (soybean, sugar cane and sunflower). At flooding time, crops planted in November/December were at flowering stage, their harvest being expected in April. Although an evaluation by local authorities is still ongoing, unofficial sources estimate losses at about 40 000 hectares, with damage to food crops, such as rice and maize, and to cash crops, including soybean, sunflower and sugar cane. The affected area represents about 5 per cent of plantings at departmental level. If the assessment is confirmed, these floods will have a negative impact on the food security of local populations and on oilseed export earnings.