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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

$12.4 million available to farmers, fisherman under incentives program


Agriculture Secretary Ramón González Beiró

By The Star Staff


Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, along with Agriculture Secretary Ramón González Beiró, announced Thursday the availability of $12.4 million from the Regional Agricultural Incentives Program to continue revitalizing local farming.


Pierluisi said all island farmers and fishermen can request the aid until Tuesday, Oct. 31. The request can be made through AgroPerfil, a digital platform that provides information in real time.


“In my administration, we have worked tirelessly to strengthen and revitalize the agricultural sector vital to the economy and food on our island,” the governor said. “We emphasized supporting our farmers and providing them with the tools and resources necessary to prosper. These funds allow us to continue supporting actions that promote and help maximize the competitive capacity of agriculture. We are committed to continue working hand in hand with our farmers to guarantee strong and sustainable growth in this industry.”


Under Administrative Order 2023-27A, there are incentives for the beekeeping, poultry, livestock, coffee, pork and fishing industries, as well as for specialized equipment, hydroponics, ornamentals, small businesses, new planting of improved pastures and precision agricultural techniques, for those agribusiness owners who meet the eligibility criteria.


“Once again we make the incentive program available with the mission of achieving efficient and high-quality production, tempered with the current situation of our farmers and modern agricultural trends,” the Agriculture secretary said. “In this direction, we created a new program to promote the planting of cocoa, among other aid that we have in the department, to continue the mission of strengthening our agriculture.”


The Agricultural Precision Techniques Program will have vouchers of $150 per cuerda (.971 acre) for fertilizer for crops such as: avocado, celery, sweet potato, cocoa, squash, citrus, guava, banana, ginger, yam, banana and yuca, among others. Regarding hydroponics, $150 will be awarded for each 100-by-18-foot structure or its equivalent. The maximum per farmer will be $1,500 per year.


Vouchers for $100 will be awarded per cuerda for crops such as peppers, eggplant, pumpkin, coriander, onion, melon, cucumbers, peppers, recao and others, to a maximum of $3,000. For the purchase of fruit production trees, meanwhile, the farmer will contribute only 50% of the cost of the trees approved under the program up to a maximum of $3,000. Citrus trees are incentivized up to $3,712.50.


Likewise, cocoa will be incentivized with 352 trees per acre up to a maximum of two acres and up to 50 of the grafted cocoa tree up to a maximum of $1,144 per acre.


“This new cocoa program has been created to promote the planting of [a crop] that the farmer can process and sell directly on his farm, which is an agritourism attraction,” González Beiró noted.


The beekeeping industry will have economic aid of up to 50% of the equipment cost, up to a maximum of $3,000 for the purchase and construction of materials, equipment and instruments, among others.


The poultry sector will have 50% of the cost of construction, expansion, installation, improvement or purchase of equipment with a maximum of $12,000 per year in hen, guinea pig, chicken or chicken breeder companies.


The pork industry, meanwhile, will have up to a maximum of $6,000 per farmer for improvements or purchase of operating equipment. Likewise, up to a maximum of 50% for the purchase of young sows or young boars.


Fishermen will have financial assistance of up to 50% of the total equipment, materials and fishing gear cost with a maximum of $12,000 per fisherman.


For the coffee industry, as an incentive to the New Coffee Planting Program, farmers can receive a donation of a voucher of 1,000 coffee trees for a value of $900 per acre and up to a maximum of 20 acres, $150 vouchers for the purchase of fertilizers and $200 for lime carbonate and $100 for pesticides. Financial aid of $50 per pruned acre and a fertilizer voucher of $75 per acre are available for pruning coffee trees. The incentive for the Replanting and Ordered Planting Program will consist of the granting of a purchase order of 60 cents per coffee tree, up to an established maximum.


Among the incentives for specialized equipment is a financial aid offer of up to 50% of the investment made by the farmer with a maximum of $12,000 and strictly for the acquisition of new equipment. For the beef production livestock industry, there is an incentive of $240 per head up to a maximum of 50 heifers.


The Improved Pasture New Planting Program has an incentive of $200 per cuerda up to a maximum of 60 cuerdas, equivalent to $12,000.


For small business owners, the incentive is aimed at providing 50% for the purchase of rabbits, goats and sheep and for the purchase of equipment or construction of structures, up to a maximum of $12. The agriculture chief noted that the raising of young goats and sheep is encouraged at a rate of $100 per head up to a maximum of 10 animals per farmer.

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