MANAGUA – The drought in Nicaragua is threatening more than 600,000 livestock, on the verge of starvation from shortage of food, a National Livestock Commission (Conagan) official said.
“There are more than 600,000 cattle affected, a certain number of them have already died, while the others have nothing to eat,” Conagan official Sergio Arguello told reporters Tuesday, as he warned their number could increase to 800,000 of the total 4.1 million cattle in the country.
The livestock at risk is in Nicaragua’s “dry region,” which covers a strip of land in the center and the entire Pacific coast.
Arguello said the only way to address the issue is to sell the animals or take them to regions that have had normal rainfall such as the Caribbean region.
If the stockbreeders do not do this, they could lose their animals, although “the cost of transporting them is high,” he added.
The State government promised to allocate $300,000 to tackle the issue of starving cattle, but the plan to distribute food to each breeder has not salvaged the crisis, Arguello added.
According to Conagan data in July, more than 2,500 cattle have starved to death in Nicaragua.
Livestock breeding accounts for 10 percent of Nicaragua’s GDP.