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Prasa Receives $65.2 Million In Federal Funds

Combination Of Loans And Grants From USDA Rural Development Will Benefit 30,000 Local Families


September 25, 2003
Copyright © 2003 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has allocated $65.2 million to the Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewage Authority (Prasa) for the construction of new sewerage and drinking-water facilities for the benefit of 30,000 families in rural communities throughout Puerto Rico.

USDA Rural Development State Director Jose A. Otero said $43.7 million is in the form of low-interest loans and $21.5 million in grants. The new facilities will be built in Aguadilla, Barranquitas, Cabo Rojo, Ciales, Comerio, Guayama, Jayuya, Lares, Las Marias, Maricao, Maunabo, Rio Grande, and Yabucoa.

Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced that 115 loans and grants totaling $13 million have been granted to 1,166 businesses in 41 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. She said an estimated 6,000 jobs would be created in rural communities as a result of the allocation to promote business development. Agriculture Undersecretary for Rural Development Thomas C. Dorr said the agency must provide incentives for young families to remain in or return to rural areas.

Puerto Rico received $655,291 in grants for three projects. The Corporation for the Economic Development of the Capital City (Cofecc by its Spanish acronym) received $305,291 to provide small-business loans throughout Puerto Rico. Ceiba Housing Corp. got $300,000 to establish a small-loans program in Ceiba, Fajardo, Luquillo, Naguabo, and Vieques. The municipality of Camuy received $50,000 to establish an economic development office.

The USDA also announced the availability of $27.7 million in grants to the states and Puerto Rico for the development of value-added agricultural operations, for working capital, or for the development of business plans. There is a maximum grant of $500,000 per recipient, which may be an individual or an organized group of farmers. The recipients must match each dollar allocated.

The deadline to request a grant is Oct. 20. Otero said further information is available at the agency’s website,, or at the local USDA office in suite 601 of the IBM Plaza at 654 Muñoz Rivera Ave., Hato Rey.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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