RIGA, Aug 2 (Xinhua) -- Farmers in the southwestern Latvian district of Rucava have appealed to their local authority for help after a prolonged dry spell earlier this summer seriously damaged vegetation in the area, local media reported.
The local council at an extraordinary meeting on Friday decided to ask Latvia's central government to declare a state of emergency in the administrative territory of Rucava, which would make it easier for the affected farmers to receive government assistance.
Rucava has seen so little rain since May that vegetation in the parched farmlands in the area has become weakened or has altogether withered. Dairy farmers in the area have been hit by the drought especially hard as the dry weather has damaged pastures and caused a shortage of fodder grass, which in turn has led to a reduced output of dairy products.
Crop farmers and fruit growers have suffered less from the drought, representatives of the local authority said.
The Rural Support Service, a government agency under the Latvian Agriculture Ministry, has been tasked with evaluating the situation in Rucava and estimating the drought damage so that the ministry can take an informed decision on how to proceed in this situation.