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Department Of Agriculture To Provide Incentives To Local Coffee Farmers
BY EVELYN GUADALUPE-FAJARDO
February 15, 2001
Starting Feb. 27, the Puerto Rico Department of Agricultureunder the leadership of Fernando Toledohopes to give new life to the islands coffee industry by providing farmers with incentives.
Under the agencys $12 million program, farmers will receive $22 per quintales produced and $11 per quintales will go to the worker responsible for washing and drying the coffee beans and the workers who also pick the beans.
Further, the government has ordered additional fertilizer to be given to coffee farmers.
Before Hurricane Georges in 1998, the islands coffee industry produced close to 290,000 quintales (29 million pounds) a year, which generated $55 million.
Today, the coffee industry produces one-third of that amount. In 2000, the coffee industry had to import 200,000 quintales or 20 million pounds of the product.
In related news, Toledo, who is committed to increase agricultural production by 20%, said that in the next 90 days the Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Land Authority, would determine what land should be dedicated to agricultural use.
There is close to 80,000 acres of land on the coast of Puerto Rico that must be identified either as protected for agricultural use or to be developed for affordable housing.
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.