Companies in the agriculture and agro-industrial sector are at a crossroads due to the poor condition of roads and the floods that have devastated crops, livestock, and land, reports La Republica.
The poultry sector, primarily in Santander, has been among the most severely affected, as some 1,000 farms and businesses must attempt to recover from this year’s losses and avoid future risks. These farms provide 28 percent of national poultry produce and have had to face losses in excess of $16 million (COP30 billion).
Before the damaging effects of the weather, large companies in the region had already been evaluating the possibility of shifting production to other parts of the country, such as Valle del Cauca.
Cattle ranchers are also concerned, predicting at least a 20 percent decrease in production, both in milk and meat, in large part due to the constant movement of animals which negatively affects the breeding and feeding conditions.
Unofficial estimates indicate that losses in the region total $320 million (COP600 billion) due to the decreased output, disease, and transport difficulties.
Jose Vicente Chahin, president of the Cattle and Zebu Breeders Association, has urged farmers to make the necessary investments to recover the land and prevent businesses from moving to other regions.
Meanwhile, according to Asocaña, the sugar industry’s association, sugar production fell by 38.5 percent between November and December, compared to 2009, and exports diminished 66 percent in the same period.