Argentina’s authorities have declared an agricultural emergency in the Patagonian region after ashes from Chile’s Puyehue volcano caused severe losses for many farmers. Airports and some roads remained blocked while cleaning projects were underway in the provinces of Río Negro, Neuquén and Chubut, the story reported. Executive secretary of Agriculture Emergency and Disaster Haroldo Lebed, announced the state of emergency after several fruit producers and sheep farmers warned of serious damages. Lebed plans to meet with producers from the three provinces at 11am today and has pledged the government will help affected farmers with national funds. "The phenomenon is tremendous in terms of the economic impact it causes – it is impossible to gauge the damage,” he was quoted as saying. Website Lmcipoletti.com.ar reported aid of between 10 million and 15 million pesos (US$2.45 million to US$3.68 million) would be given to the affected farmers. In terms of the fruit industry the region is most known for its pear, apple and grape production.