Estimates of the agricultural losses in Puerto Rico continue to rise following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika a few days ago. The current estimates are for losses in excess of $20 million.
Caribbean Business reported here that the most damaged crops, particularly due to Erika’s winds, are plantains and bananas, while losses have also been reported in coffee and orange plantations. Erika also ruined hydroponic greenhouses and other shade-house projects.
The story also noted that many farmers were not able to claim insurance because the storm was not classified as a hurricane. “The unfortunate thing is these crops are insured, but for the insurance offered by the government to respond to the atmospheric phenomenon, it must be classified as a hurricane, and since it was identified as a storm or depression when reaching Puerto Rico, the insurance does not cover the losses, thus they must be assumed by the farmers,” Puerto Rico Farmers Association President Héctor Iván Cordero said.