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UPR Mayagüez, Hecho en Puerto Rico partner to boost Semillas Selectas project

The agreement also focuses on educating the community about the importance of food security.

The University of Puerto Rico’s (UPR) Mayagüez campus, known as RUM, and the Asociación Hecho en Puerto Rico have entered into a collaborative agreement to expand efforts to promote and sell the main product of the Semillas Selectas UPR project.

The program is affiliated with the Agricultural Experimental Station (EEA, in Spanish) of RUM’s School of Agricultural Sciences.

The project aims to distribute high-quality seeds produced at the experimental substations across Puerto Rico, making them accessible to the public. Throughout the year, 17 varieties of seeds, including seven certified as organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will be available for purchase.

“With this agreement, we are going to expand the reach of this fabulous initiative from the EEA of our School of Agricultural Sciences, where they have developed these seeds that are specially selected for our climate in Puerto Rico,” said RUM Chancellor Agustín Rullán-Toro.”

He added, “It provides us with a vehicle so that, with the science we are applying from the stations, new commercial projects can be undertaken that benefit the University of Puerto Rico by generating additional income to achieve the sustainability of this significant project. This alliance with Hecho en Puerto Rico allows expanding the possibilities of distributing this product and reaching other potential markets.”

The agreement also focuses on educating the community about the importance of food security.

“As part of the multiple initiatives taking place in April, the month of the Puerto Rican industry, we want to expand and provide tools through the Hecho en Puerto Rico Association so consumers are aware of the innovative initiative being developed at RUM by the EEA: the high-quality Semillas Selectas UPR,” said Jorge Ramírez-Medina, president of Hecho en Puerto Rico.

“This project will offer the population a safe and nutritious product [for] their home gardens, [addressing] issues of nutritional security and economic development. Select seeds made in Puerto Rico will also be seeds of entrepreneurship for our current and future partners,” he said.

Ramírez-Medina added: “Being able to collaborate with the RUM is a dream come true because it’s where I started my professional education and where leaders and technology are produced, which are fundamental pillars of our island’s economic development.”

Hecho en Puerto Rico will install a seed vending machine on the third floor of Plaza Las Américas, offering seeds such as sweet pepper, pumpkin, cilantro, beans, lima beans, eggplant, tomato, cucumber, rice, sweet potato, plantain and malanga.

“In this alliance, we will have the opportunity to once again demonstrate the importance of the UPR,” said Alberto Vélez, agronomist and coordinator of new projects for the EEA. “In this case, it is with Semillas Selectas UPR, one of the flagship projects for local food and nutritional security.”

“We’ll work with Hecho en Puerto Rico, which has the inherent mission of driving economic development. In this collaborative agreement, we’ll be very present both in educating and providing high-quality and high-performance seeds, which have been developed and evaluated by our EEA,” Vélez concluded.

A year ago, as part of the Earth Month celebration, the campus officially launched the Semillas Selectas UPR project, a representative brand of the EEA Seed Program, which has supplied local producers and farmers with carefully selected, evaluated, processed and preserved seeds for the past 77 years to ensure the best harvests.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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