The Puerto Rico Agriculture Department announced Thursday it has received $720,000 from the Natural Resources Conservation Service to protect and preserve the lands belonging to the Yabucoa Valley Reserve in that eastern town.
The funding is good for the next two years, when the local agency will match the federal grant with $650,000, and other contributions from the School of Agricultural Sciences and the Yabucoa municipal government.
“When we started in this administration, there was only one active conservation district. Recognizing their importance for the dissemination and implementation of conservation practices that allow us to protect our resources, we took on the task of reactivating them in coordination with NRCS,” Agriculture Secretary Myrna Comas said. “Today, we have six active districts and two under development.”
The funding will benefit farming activity in about 7,000 acres of lands along the valley, she said.
“What for some are natural resources, for our farmers they are productive resources that sustain agriculture, hence, the importance of adequately managing them to yield long-term benefits,” Comas said.
“The protection of these resources is achieved through control practices for soil erosion, proper management of irrigation and drainage, contour planting, use of forage, runoff water management, proper disposal of waste and the use of renewable energy,” she added. “Some of these practices are already underway in Yabucoa.”