The government is allocating some 600 million colons, about $1.14 million to help farmers and ranchers affected by the drought and some who are victims of heavy rain.
The president, Luis Guillermo Solís, and the agricultural minister, Felipe Arauz Cavallini, signed decree to that effect Tuesday. The effort will be handled by the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal, and the emphasis will be on disease that may develop in underfed and stressed livestock.
Those eligible include livestock producers, beekeepers and fish producers.
The decree covers operations in Liberia, Tilarán, Nicoya, Santa Cruz, Bagaces, Carrillo, Cañas, Abangares, Nandayure, La Cruz and Hojancha on the province of Guanacaste, the cantons of Aguirre, Garabito, Montes de Oro, Esparza and the central canton in the province of Puntarenas and the cantons of Orotina, San Mateo and Atenas in Alajuela.
The lack of water and forage is weakening animals and leaves them open for an epidemic of diseases, said the government.
The money also is allocated to producers in the cantons of Oreamuno, Alvarado, Jiménez and Turrialba in the province of Cartago where there has been an unusual amount of rain. The government said that some 55,000 hectares of grazing land for milk cows has been affected.
The effort might include forage, protein supplements and energy supplements for the cows, said the government. Almost as an aside, the announcement said that the money also would sponsor studies of growing forage for animals with a hydroponic system.
Ranchers had hopes that the government would truck in forage for cattle.
Some ranchers moved their cows to other locations in the face of the drought.
The government blamed El Niño for the lack of rain.