Being one of the industries most affected after the passage of tropical storm Isaías, the secretary of the Department of Agriculture of Puerto Rico (DA), Carlos Flores Ortega, reported today that the losses to farmers whose agricultural production was destroyed amounts to $ 47.5 million .
“All farmers who were damaged by the passage of the storm must carry out the due process for any claim or request through the Regular Incentive Programs to obtain agricultural machinery, compost or seeds and restore agricultural production, ”Flores Ortega said in writing.
The sector with the greatest impact was plantains which represented 69% of the losses. They follow the sectors of bananas for 20%, coffee and ornamentals with 3%. While the sectors of papayas, watermelons, vegetables, citrus, yautías and yams with 1% each.
The DA detailed the losses by Agricultural Regions with Lares being the most affected with losses of $ 13.4 million, Utuado $ 12 million, Caguas $ 10.8 million, Naranjito $ 5 million, Ponce $ 3.4 million, Arecibo $ 1.4 million, San Germán $ 1.1 million and Mayagüez being the least affected with $ 677 thousand.
For his part, Rey Rodríguez Nieves, interim director of the Division Agricultural Statistics, highlighted the effort of agronomists to know the effects of the event to execute the Mitigation Plan. We work to obtain through a scientific and methodical process where the aid will be directed. Field agronomists visited their farmers establishing security protocols in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Secretary maintained that for the Department and the Governor, Wanda Vázquez Garced, it is important to be able to respond quickly to the injured farmers and provide them the resources so that they can begin to recover from the atmospheric event.
Given the concern of several citizens with the shortage of these local products, “especially with bananas, it is important to mention that importation from other places will not be allowed. It is expected that for two months, we will have the crop ready to continue with its consumption, "stated the Minister of Agriculture.