Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi on Tuesday urged Puerto Rico farmers to participate in the six orientation sessions the U.S. Farm Service Agency will conduct through Dec. 15, to let them know of the assistance programs available to them in the case of natural disasters and other emergencies.
The federal agency will also outline the claims process available to Hispanic and female farmers.
“Agriculture affects the lives of all Puerto Ricans and it is critical that we support its development. It impacts our economy and our ability to meet our food and nutritional needs,” Pierluisi said. “The federal government has always sought to encourage the growth of this sector and in these times of economic distress it is even more vital that we take advantage of all existing federal grants available to subsidize production, utilize new technologies, and expand into new markets.”
In addition, Agricultural Extension Service representatives will offer information regarding the types of federal assistance that can be provided to farmers as part of the Farm Management Project, established to train, guide and provide technical assistance to farmers on the island.
The informational sessions will take place in Adjuntas, Utuado, Mayagüez, Arecibo, Barranquitas and Caguas from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. between through next week.
“We must ensure that we meet the needs of our farmers at the federal level and that we encourage the growth of the agricultural industry in Puerto Rico,” said Pierluisi.
This is the most recent instance in which Pierluisi has joined forces with the FSA to spread the word on federal opportunities available to island farmers. Last year, Pierluisi established a Task Force on Agriculture, consisting of farmers from diverse agricultural sectors who will work together to identify their shared concerns and the federal resources potentially available to address the issues.
For more information, please call 787-294-1613, ext. 102 or visit the FSA’s website at www.fsa.usda.gov