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Feb 13, 2018

Warning over Food Shortage in Toledo Village Following Floods

Villagers of San Benito Poite in the Toledo District are staring disaster in the face after floods hit the community over the weekend. It has been an unusually rainy few weeks in the area and in addition to being inaccessible by road; their primary crops – corn for subsistence farming and beans for commercial sale – have been destroyed, leaving them without options heading into the dry season. Senator Osmany Salas was in the area on business and described the situation to News Five via telephone this evening.


On the Phone: Osmany Salas, Senator for Non-Governmental Organizations

“The floods of three or four days ago had damaged and wiped out a big part of their corn crop, what they call ‘mata hambre.’ This ‘mata hambre’ corn crop is supposed to hold them over to the main crop which is around June or so. So it’s around this month into next month that they actually harvest their ‘mata hambre’ corn crop. But the villagers told me that between fifty and sixty acres of their ‘mata hambre’ corn crop was damaged by the floods; as I said that is devastating to them because it was supposed to hold them over. Upon returning I had informed the relevant authorities and I was told that NEMO had already been in the area, I believe Friday and Saturday, although they had not made it to San Benito Poite on Saturday – we had been there until late evening; so hopefully they made it there yesterday or Sunday. But the immediate need for the community is basic staples: corn, beans, rice and the like to hold them over. The time to plant a real crop is over – this one that was damaged was planted many weeks ago so as I mentioned they were getting ready to try and harvest. So the time for planting this season is over, and they need help with their basic staples.”

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