The Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies predicted moderate to heavy rain in the coffee region during Holy Week (Easter) in a recent prognosis.
The report advises cultivators, before a flood, to consider harvesting their crops early, and to protect vulnerable riverside land with natural barriers or sand bags.
There is a high possibility of slow flooding in the middle and lower river basins of the Cauca River as well as the other major rivers of the country. The Cauca River flows through two of the three departments in the coffee growing region, Caldas and Risaralda. The other department in the “Eje Cafetera” is Quindio.
According to Bloomberg the usually severe rainy season has helped double the price of arabica coffee in New York over the past 12 months. Colombia is the second biggest producer of arabica beans after Brazil. The National Federation of Coffee Growers reported April 13 that coffee production was up 24%.
The rains have been caused by La Niña, the periodic warming of the sea in the equatorial band of the Pacific causing greater than normal precipitation. The severe rains, which are expected to last until June, caused two landslides in Manizales, the capital of Caldas department recently, Thursday and at the end of last month and the closure of 7 major national roads Friday.