VisitRico announces new agritourism ambassador

From left, Yoamadil Cabán, Camille Collazo, Adolfo Mendez-Nouel, Nannette Rosa and Annabele Longo (Courtesy)

Puerto Rican businessman Adolfo Méndez-Nouel selected

SAN JUAN — The nonprofit organization that seeks to strengthen the agricultural economy in Puerto Rico, VisitRico, announced this week the selection of Adolfo Méndez-Nouel as the ambassador of agritourism on the island who will lead the mission of that organization to establish a sustainable industry and promote education among the population.

, announced this week the selection of Adolfo Méndez-Nouel as the ambassador of agritourism on the island who will lead the mission of that organization to establish a sustainable industry and promote education among the population.

Méndez-Nouel is creative director and operations officer for Manhattan Physio Group, an outpatient physiotherapy clinic based in New York, where he is also co-founder of wellness company MPG Essentials.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria’s path over Puerto Rico in September 2017, Méndez-Nouel created the Hurricane Maria Relief fund, raising more than $75,000 for the island’s recovery. He is visiting Puerto Rico and participating in the launch of the VisitRico programs that support agroecological farmers on the island.

Born in San Juan, the entrepreneur has dedicated his career in the service industry in tourism, sales and healthcare, and was described by Camille Collazo, VisitRico’s executive director, as a creative and serious person committed to Puerto Rico’s sustainable development.

Méndez-Nouel also remains active in economic and educational development on the island.

“Our goal is to achieve food sovereignty, which is essential for a healthy population. Therefore, it is logical…that among our alliances, we highlight the importance of health,” VisitRico’s director said. “That is why we have chosen to partner with the Manhattan Physio Group and MPG Essentials, an entity recognized as one of the best holistic health companies in New York, which operates with the values of ethics, empathy and economic sustainability, as well as its commitment to important causes. We are happy to be one of the causes it supports.”

VisitRico is a non-profit organization created in 2014 and whose mission is to strengthen the agricultural economy in Puerto Rico. To this end, it carries out efforts aimed at supporting the food cycle process, that is, from planting to harvesting until it reaches the agricultural market and its consumption.

Its initiatives include educational events, ecological agritourism to promote health and environmental conservation. The activities are aimed at tourists, residents and farmers. It also connects members of the island’s agroecological community, which imports about 90 percent of the food it consumes.




Puerto Rico Agriculture Secretary details changes to incentives

(CyberNews)

To be issued quarterly based on production estimates

SAN JUAN — The secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture, Carlos Flores Ortega, described Tuesday the parameters under which the new production incentive will be granted, replacing after more than 30 years the subsidy granted by the agency to producers.

“With the code, we have a tool to measure the effectiveness of the incentive on agricultural production and adopt the strategies that are necessary after an analysis of the results, so that the money of the people of Puerto Rico that is put into agriculture, has a return on investment and promotes growth in the local food production,” Flores Ortega said in a statement.

The secretary’s remarks regarding the transition from subsidy to incentive come after the recent signing of Act 60 by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares, which formalized the new Puerto Rico Incentives Code and joins the efforts of the Economic Development and Commerce Department, the Department of Agriculture and other agencies to measure the return on investment after granting public funds and to stimulate, through various strategies, the development of the local economy.

With regard to the documents needed to process a payment certification, the Agriculture official explained that agency agronomists will require the following documents from farmers to process the payment of the production incentive, corresponding from January to March and April to June:

  1. The monthly Sales and Use (IVU by its Spanish acronym) Tax Form (Model SC 2915) of sales made.
  2. The Farmer Sales Report (ADEA-PSS-05). This document is provided by Administration for the Development of Agricultural Enterprises (Adea by its Spanish acronym), so an accountant can break down the direct sales of agricultural products. In addition, the document details the names, postal address and telephone number of the buyers and the signature of the accountant who completes the said document.
  3. Tax return for quarter 19-1 and 19-2 of the Department of Labor and Human Resources of the Government of Puerto Rico (unemployment policy), at the time of certifying the production corresponding to the third and fourth quarter 2019.
  4. At the beginning of the fiscal year or when the farmer begins to participate in the program, the documents evidencing compliance with the provisions of Act 46 of Aug. 5, 1946, must be delivered. In addition, evidence of having acquired crop, plantations and/or agricultural structure insurance for which payment of the incentive is requested.

The secretary said each enterprise will have a formula for the payment of their incentives after a study is conducted by an agricultural economist and the value of hours, tons, pounds, quintals (46 kilograms), cuerdas (0.97 acres) and any other measurement used is determined.

Flores said the department’s agronomists will be visiting farms throughout the year to estimate the production of each and issue the corresponding incentives every three months based on a production estimate.




Is 2019 the Year of Cannabis?

Editor’s note: The following originally appeared in the Jan. 10-16, 2019, issue of Caribbean Business.

The medical cannabis industry in Puerto Rico continues its exponential growth on the island, attracting more and more patients interested in experiencing the healing benefits of the millennial plant.

In May 2015, former Gov. Alejandro García Padilla authorized, via executive order, the use of medical cannabis on the island, and with the subsequent enactment of the law by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares at the beginning of 2017, the law that regulates its use in Puerto Rico continues to drive the expansion of this budding industry.

Experts say 2019 could be the year of cannabis and its different uses, not only in Puerto Rico and the United States, but also worldwide. Evidence of this claim continues to mount with numerous countries having begun to take the first steps to legalize the plant for its medicinal and recreational properties, as well as for its commercial applications as hemp.

Even this week, during a summit the governor called to discuss strategies to tackle crime directly related to drug trafficking, the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, recommended the complete decriminalization of the plant as “a first step in the right direction” to address crime.

“We have to take a look at the punitive aspect right now because 18 people have been murdered in [the first] eight days of the year,” the mayor said during a press conference that included other mayors, the governor, the director of the Public Safety Department and other officials.

For Goodwin Aldarondo, president & CEO of Puerto Rico Legal Marijuana, an organization that educates the public about the legal aspects of medical marijuana, this year will be definitive for cannabis on the island.

“This is going to be the year of medical cannabis because there already is a board, there is regulation, there is a law, there already are over 50,000 patients, there is a digital platform where patients can obtain their provisional card almost immediately; before they had to wait three months…,” said Aldarondo, who agreed with the San Juan mayor about the plant’s decriminalization to fight drug-trafficking.

“Another positive thing is the government launched an advertising campaign about the benefits of medical cannabis, so everything is already headed toward the industry’s growth and success,” said Aldarondo, who is also a lawyer, referring to industry efforts established to remove the stigma of the medicinal uses of the plant, which is one of the industry’s biggest challenges globally.

Carmen Serrano, general manager at Nextgen Pharma, a pharmaceutical company specializing in the development and manufacture of cannabis-based products, sees 2019 emerging as a great year for the medical industry on the island.

“From the point of view of our cultivation and manufacturing operations, 2019 is envisioned as a year of additional growth. With the entry of new patients into the program and the brand recognition our products have developed, we will continue to expand our production capacity. Regarding the operation of dispensaries under our sister company BWell Healing Center, we also anticipate a positive outlook,” the entrepreneur told Caribbean Business.

Among the company’s plans for this year, Serrano highlighted the opening of six new dispensaries, which would raise the number of BWell Healing Center locations across the island to 10.

Meanwhile, José Aleczer Rivera, president of the Members of the Medicinal Cannabis Industry (MICaM by its Spanish acronym), concurred with his colleagues in declaring 2019 as the year of medical cannabis globally.

“The indicators are growing clearer, not only at the government level in terms of opening new markets in the United States and Puerto Rico, but also at the level of large capital investment in medicinal cannabis. These are well-planned and thoughtful investments and all indicators point to 2019 being the year in which medical cannabis will prevail as one of the most important industries in Puerto Rico,” Rivera said.

MICaM’s president also applauded the proposal outlined by the mayor of San Juan to decriminalize cannabis.

“At the recreational level, I understand the indicators point to the regulation of recreational consumption in…many U.S. jurisdictions at the federal level, and I hope Puerto Rico is included among them, and that market should move toward that,” she added.




Nearly $2.9 million in federal funds allocated for education, work, agriculture and environment in Puerto Rico

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González (Courtesy)

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón announced Tuesday federal allocations for the island totaling nearly $2.9 million from the U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the U.S. Education Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The USDA Office of Rural Development allocated nearly $1.4 million for the island under various agency programs. Of this allocation, the majority is for “working capital to produce coffee, packed fresh lettuce, processed meats, gelatos, flavored UTH packaged milk and for extracting medicinal herbs,” according to the congresswoman’s release.

Some $20,000 will be allocated as part of the business development program to provide technical assistance to students and veterans at the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Stattion in Ceiba, as well as Guayama. As part of the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), $407,420 will be allocated for the purchase and installation of solar systems to help farmers and small businesses develop renewable energy systems.

Meanwhile, the EPA approved $409,668 toward Clean Air Act efforts and to help the Environmental Quality Board to operate and maintain its air quality network. The work will involve air quality sampling and generation of representative air quality data.

“To make it easier for parents to continue with higher education, the Department of Education allocated $163,227.00 to the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico and $470,184.00 to the Metropolitan University under the Child Care Access Program Means Parents in School Program,” which supports the participation of low-income parents in postsecondary education programs by providing on-campus child care, the release explained.

OSHA allocated $149,904 to the University of Puerto Rico’s Medical Sciences Campus for health and safety training and an educational material development program that aims to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths.




Puerto Rico agricultural incentives laws to be amended

Editor’s note: This report first appeared in the June 7-13 issue of Caribbean Business

The secretary of the Puerto Rico Agriculture Department, Carlos Flores Ortega, said Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares submitted legislation last week to the Legislature to create the Puerto Rico Incentives Code. Senate Bill 1013 will not do away with any agricultural incentives law, but will make parameters stricter for recipients of this aid.

The secretary explained to Caribbean Business that the effort would adjust and consolidate the incentives and subsidies Agriculture grants local farmers, which in many cases have not produced the desired results. That is why, he said, there needs to be a thorough revision of these incentives.

“It is not that [the incentives] are eliminated, in the context that the attributes of these laws are removed. What is being done is that these laws are being summarized. When the bill says this or that is being eliminated, what is being done is that they are inserted into the new incentives code, and the attributes and benefits these laws offer go into the new incentives code. It is not that they are eliminated,” Flores Ortega said.

“Farmers know there needs to be a revision of these subsidies to see what [the incentive’s] purpose is. What we are really looking for are incentives. What the subsidy is really addressing is a fault, maybe, in the development and filling up of a space that possibly does not lead to growth. We are looking to incentivize production, success; the creation of jobs, that is what we are looking for, so there’s really the greatest return on the investment. Many farmers know that, which is what they are asking for. We are not doing anything other than listening to what the farmers themselves say,” he added.

Flores Ortega provided, as an example, Law 225, which stipulates that “bona fide” farmers are traditionally the ones who earn 50 percent or more of their income through agricultural activity. With these amendments, according to the secretary, this percentage would increase to 80 percent.

“Now, it will be stricter because it will give the bona fide certificate to those whose 80 percent or more of income is earned through an agricultural activity, and it seems to me that this is fair because we are separating laws that are specific to agricultural activity. It’s not that it’s 50 percent sometimes and in others 51 percent or 49 percent. We had problems differentiating what a bona fide farmer is,” he said.

The chair of the House Agriculture, Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs Committee, Rep. Joel Franqui Atiles, said public hearings on the bill have yet to take place, but even though he did not specifically state if it’s an elimination or an amendment, he left the door open for possible changes in the way these agricultural incentives are awarded.

“The public hearings on this new incentives code have yet to be worked on; what can happen is that the way these incentives are awarded changes. We want to aim it more toward production, not to award incentives just for the sake of it. [The] Agriculture [department] keeps subsidizing and subsidizing, and we do not see that production increase or improve, which is what we want, that agriculture grows in Puerto Rico. Yes, the incentives will continue, but the way they are awarded is what could change,” he said.

To questions from Caribbean Business on whether the recently announced alliance with the Dominican Ministry of Agriculture, to set up an exchange of resources, is part of this new readjustment of the agricultural incentives laws, the legislators said that it is not the case, that it is about improving conditions for agricultural production in Puerto Rico.

However, although both government representatives categorically stated that this is not a derogation, but an amendment, the truth is that the language used in SB 1013’s explanatory memorandum is clear and does not indicate they would “amend” these laws, but categorically indicates its proposed repeal. Nonetheless, the legislative bill is specific about which laws would be amended and which would be repealed.

“To adopt the Puerto Rico Incentives Code, consolidate the dozens of decrees, incentives, subsidies, monetary stimulus, reimbursements or existing tax or financial benefits…repeal Act 42 of June 19 of 1971, as amended, known as the Law of Agricultural Workers’ Annual Bonus…repeal Act 46 of Aug. 5 of 1989, as amended, known as the Law to Establish the Program of Income Subsidy to Eligible Farmers…repeal Act 225-1995, as amended, known as the Law of Agricultural Tax Incentives of Puerto Rico…repeal Act 26-2008, as amended, known as the Law of the Program for Financing Research & Development of Agricultural & Food Technology, reads the legislative bill submitted for consideration during the ordinary session of the eighteenth Legislative Assembly.




USDA: Puerto Rican farmers can benefit from over $2.36 billion in aid

SAN JUAN – U.S. Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue has announced new details on eligibility for a new disaster program, 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP).

In total, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will deploy up to $2.36 billion that Congress appropriated through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to “help producers with recovery of their agricultural operations” in at least nine jurisdictions with hurricane damage and states impacted by wildfire.

“While USDA has a suite of disaster programs as well as crop insurance available to help producers manage their risk, Congress felt it was important to provide extra assistance to our nation’s farms and ranches that were the hardest hit last year,” Perdue said in an agency release.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (Screen capture of www.usda.gov)

All Puerto Rican crops are eligible for the program, since President Trump approved a major disaster declaration for the entire island after September’s hurricanes struck.

Eligibility will be determined on an individual basis, using the level of insurance coverage purchased for 2017 for the total crop acres on the area for which the WHIP application is made.

Eligible producers who certify to an average adjusted gross income (AGI) of at least 75 percent derived from farming or ranching, including other agriculture and forestry-based businesses during the tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015, will be eligible for a $900,000 payment limitation with verification. All other eligible producers requesting 2017 WHIP benefits will be subject to a $125,000 payment limitation.

Farmers interested in participating in the program must submit their application no later than July 16. Additional information on WHIP is available on FSA’s 2017 WHIP webpage. For assistance under any of the other disaster programs, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/disaster.




Flower Power

Editor’s note: The following article originally appeared in the April 26 issue of Caribbean Business.

After the recent announcement by the Medicinal Cannabis Regulatory Board on implementation of restrictions on the sale of the cannabis flower at dispensaries in Puerto Rico, there seems to be no respite from the controversy that has ensued over the use of the flower, given the vast polarization of opinions from both the governor’s office/ La Fortaleza and the Legislative Assembly.

According to a missive issued by the regulator, Act 42 “prohibits, as a method of administration, the ignition or combustion of medical cannabis,” and adds that the “vaporization of the cannabis flower to a patient diagnosed with a terminal illness or in cases where there is no other suitable or adequate alternative…” will be the means to administer medical cannabis.

However, experts say the flower is crucial for treatment, particularly in the case of people with low income, who cannot afford medical cannabis treatment by other means.

“I can tell you, based on my own experience, because coming from the perspective of patients, since I have a niece who was treated with medicinal cannabis, the importance of the flower for patients is essential because it is an economic alternative that she has to be able to make her own tea or be able to create her own cannabis butter to be able to prepare products,” explained José Giovanni Ojeda, vice president of Cruz Verde Inc. He is also a course instructor for CannaWorks Institute, which held the third edition of Puerto Rico MedCann.Biz, an event that brings together the medical cannabis industry, provides educational lectures and certifies patients for medical cannabis.

“The position of the Legislature is embodied in Act 42 of 2017, which clearly includes the flower. To change that public policy, established by the Legislature and endorsed by the executive [branch], there would have to be an amendment to the bill, and our information is that right now there’s no [political] atmosphere or sufficient votes to produce these amendments,” Ojeda added.

Statistics on Puerto Rico’s medical cannabis industry reflect significant growth and potential for the island’s long-awaited economic development. As expressed during the MedCann.Biz event, the industry continues to provide indications about medical cannabis’ potential, since it has registered some 25,000 patients as of April, compared with only 6,900 in April of last year.

There were nine cultivation licenses last year. That number has now risen to 15. In 2017, there were four manufacturers, while now there are 11. By the beginning of last year, there were only seven dispensaries. Today, Puerto Rico has 45, along with 322 registered doctors and two laboratories.

Puerto Rico Economic Development Dept. promotes investment in medical cannabis market

According to information provided, 54 percent of patients are age 52 or older and women over 52 comprise 48 percent of the female patients.

“The most striking thing about the numbers to me is that more than half of these patients surpass 55 years of age, and that’s a figure that breaks with the stigma that this is for young people. The baby boomers are signing up and that is a reality. Here in Puerto Rico, the commotion and curiosity that this issue has generated, especially in the medical class, has no comparison, even with the state of Colorado. When we look at that state and see the number of doctors involved there versus the number of physicians…involved here, the future is promising for us,” the expert told Caribbean Business.

“If you ask me, it seems…the flower will always prevail because, really, when you sit and listen to the testimonies of the patients, as countless legislators have done, and we are talking about the most conservative legislators to the most liberal, you totally change your mind,” he added.

The outlook for detractors of the flower for medical treatment could become even more complicated at a time when stateside surveys indicate voters, both Democrats and Republicans, support medical cannabis. According to a 2017 Yahoo/ Marist survey, 83 percent said doctors should be able to prescribe marijuana to patients.

–Read the rest of the story in CB’s epaper here.

 

 

 




Gov presents Puerto Rico Justice, Agriculture reorganization plans

SAN JUAN — Gov. Ricardo Rosselló presented two new plans to reorganize the Justice and Agriculture departments under the New Government Act, which seeks to reduce the number of agencies from 118 to 35 without laying off public employees.

According to the administration, if approved by the Legislature, the reorganizations would save more than $48 million the first year and over $318 million in the next five years.

In a statement, Public Affairs Secretary Ramón Rosario explained that the Justice Department will be merged with the Corrections & Rehabilitation Department (CRD), the Correctional Health Program and the Freedom Under Oath Board to create the Corrections & Rehabilitation Bureau.

Labor Department reorganization approved by Puerto Rico Senate

The bureau would be directed by a commissioner appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. Meanwhile, the Freedom Under Oath Board would maintain its independence and operational structure, the statement reads. In addition, Corrections employees would keep their right to reach collective bargaining agreements under the new bureau.

Meanwhile, the Administration for the Development of Agricultural Businesses and the Puerto Rico Agriculture Insurance Corp. would be merged into the Agriculture Department. In addition, the Coffee Office of Puerto Rico would be created and be tasked with setting bean prices, a function that is currently carried out by the Consumer Affairs Department (DACO by its Spanish acronym). The Agriculture Department would also set sugar prices instead of the DACO.

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“All the reorganization plans presented guarantee the jobs and acquired rights of public employees and safeguard federal funds. With this unprecedented reorganization of the government we intend to have a more efficient and less expensive government apparatus to redirect the scarce resources of Treasury to incentivize the economy with measures such as the new tax model that will reduce taxes to all sectors,” Rosario added.

To date, the executive branch has introduced seven reorganization plans, of which the  Labor &and Human Resources Department and the Natural Reserve were approved in the House and Senate. The other five plans are under evaluation in the Legislature.

To date, the executive branch has submitted seven reorganization plans, of which the Labor Department and the Model Forest were passed in both the Senate and House of Representatives. The other five plans are under legislative consideration.




Puerto Rico dairy industry denounces ‘favoritism’ of imported UHT milk

SAN JUAN — Last week, the president of Puerto Rico Milk Producers Coop (Coople by its Spanish acronym), Juan Carlos Rivera, denounced the local Agriculture Department’s alleged favoritism toward ultra-high-temperature (UHT) milk imports over production from the island. Coople is affiliated with the Puerto Rico Farmers Association (AAPR by its Spanish initials).

Rivera said there is sufficient supply in Puerto Rico to meet local demand, even during the post-hurricane emergency, when hundreds of thousands of homes lacked electricity service and, thus, increased their consumption of this type of milk, which does not require refrigeration until the carton is opened.

“While the AAPR and Coople are working to recover production, which decreased by 50 percent, unfortunately, the Agriculture Department has been promoting milk carton imports. Agriculture must have its reasons; it can raise the argument that interstate laws can’t be violated, but we must remind the Agriculture secretary that his name and title are specific. We need an Agriculture secretary who protects this country’s farmers and agriculture,” said the spokesman for local dairy farmers.

Puerto Rico Farmers Association requests unused USDA funds for dairies

“We denounced that the Tres Monjitas dairy company, which also has dairy farms, recently brought UHT milk from the United States, when there is an agreement between Indulac [Industria Lechera de Puerto Rico Inc.] and them to produce that milk here, but the company took the easy route by importing. We hope and urge Tres Monjitas to fulfill their end of that agreement and process that milk here in Puerto Rico,” he added.

Rivera indicated that in the aftermath of Hurricane María, Agriculture and the Milk Industry Regulation Office (ORIL by its Spanish acronym) have granted 46 importation licenses, while Puerto Rico’s overall agricultural sector requires support to overcome the emergency.

The dairy farmers’ spokesman also urged ORIL and Agriculture to establish a more rigorous issuing process for these licenses because Puerto Rico’s dairy industry has the capacity to package the milk and meet consumer demand.

Farmers say María wrecked bright spot of Puerto Rico economy

“It is an embarrassment for our country that there are 46 importation licenses in Puerto Rico when farmers here are going through difficult times with our farms as production continues to be reduced because we do not have the sales but do have people consuming. Thus, one way or another, Agriculture must immediately halt these importations,” he denounced.

Rivera stressed that the local industry sustains about 20,000 jobs, but they could be in peril unless the Agriculture Department stops providing importation licenses. He also urged Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, “who has always given us a hand,” to focus on the Agriculture secretary, “who is taking another path that I believe is not the right one to develop agriculture in our country.”

As informed at a press conference, the Puerto Rico dairy sector produces about $400 million annually, which could be drastically reduced if dairy importations increase.

USDA provides over $10M to help Caribbean farmers recover after hurricanes

Likewise, Rivera revealed, due to excess UHT milk importations, that the local industry has had to remove from the market thousands of quarts of the product because they do not have an outlet in the local market.

“In 2017, 18 million quarts of milk entered the island, and to this day, Puerto Rico’s farmers are decommissioning milk because it isn’t being sold. It seems incredible that we have a large import market, and we have to be decommissioning that milk. We demand the secretary to do his job,” he added.




Puerto Rico Agriculture Dept. to offer post-Hurricane María workshops

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Agriculture Secretary Carlos Flores Ortega announced that his department has begun offering specialized workshops for area agronomists to foster local agriculture after Hurricane María.

The workshops will provide education on various topics, including the measurement of soil’s pH, or acidity, levels, and industrial hemp. The initiative seeks to keep area agronomists up-to-date, as they responsible for educating the farmers on the department’s extensive registry.

Agroecological industry calls on governor to revitalize Puerto Rico market

The agency official said four main workshops began with Tuesday’s in the so-called Ponce and Utuado Super Region, followed by Monday’s in the Arecibo Super Region for Arecibo and Lares area agronomists. Then, on Dec. 11, a workshop will be given at Dorado’s Finca Monterrey for Naranjito and Caguas agronomists, and another will be carried out Dec. 13 in the San Germán Super Region for agronomists of San Germán and Mayagüez.

Senate seeks to incentivize coffee farmers after Hurricane María

All workshops begin at 8 a.m., with two sessions a day, one on the use of the pH meter, by staff of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez’s Agricultural Science College, and the other on the cultivation of hemp, by the agronomist Irving Rodríguez.

“It is important to keep our field agronomists well-trained in the best and most modern techniques of agricultural production and conservation of natural resources. These professionals of the agricultural sciences are the link between the government and farmers for the technological transformation of agriculture,” Flores Ortega said in a press release.

Farmers say María wrecked bright spot of Puerto Rico economy