Cigar Aficionado

Nature Challenges Ecuadoran Tobacco Growers

Ecudoran tobacco growers are getting the one-two punch from nature with El Niño on one side and volcanoes on the other.

Mild El Niño conditions have developed in the tropical Pacific and are forecasted to continue into 2007. The term "El Niño" refers to the large-scale climate phenomenon that effectually warms sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central equatorial Pacific. Intensified, El Niño is said to cause outbreaks of blue mold, drought and summer flooding.

Tobacco growers have been preoccupied with a more dramatic natural event -- the recent eruption of the volcano Tungurahua, also known as The Black Giant. The volcano erupted in August, killing four people and leaving thousands of residents in the area homeless, while spraying ashes onto crop fields and tobacco leaves.

For more on this story, see the current issue of Cigar Insider.

Photo by Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images