The Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Family confirmed that they are close to giving way to the reopening of the Family Markets .
dependencies notified in a joint statement that they held a videoconference in four simultaneous locations where farmers participated, the mayor of San Sebastián, Javier Jiménez the director of the Administration of Socioeconomic Development of the Family (ADSEF), Alberto Fradera and his counterpart to the Administration for the Development of Agricultural Companies (ADEA), the agronomist Robert Bradley .
Agronomist Helga Méndez, ADEA Assistant Administrator of Agricultural Marketing, discussed the security measures plan and the new self-service concept that will make participation of the public and beneficiaries easier, faster and safer. Nutritional Assistance Program (PAN).
"The purpose of this new Family Market model goes beyond achieving sales of agricultural products and promoting an increase in the consumption of fresh and healthy foods. Now we also have to incorporate the safety of all participants in the face of the new reality of coronavirus . What we want to achieve is an activity free of the virus, that does not close operations in the future, and that we have peace of mind to participate without major concerns because the security measures are sufficient and effective, "explained the Secretary of Agriculture, Carlos Flores Ortega .
For his part, the secretary of the Family, Orlando López Belmonte indicated that he notified the federal government of the reopening and that they are aware of the proposed changes, so that 4% of the PAN benefit will be used again for Family Markets in the month of July .
"It is the public policy of the governor Wanda Vázquez Garced ensuring that all low-income families have access to quality food at affordable prices. By resuming the Family Markets, we not only assist families in the program, but all citizens have the opportunity to purchase fresh products harvested in Puerto Rico and made here, "explained the Secretary of the Family.
For his part, Fradera reported that the reopening will begin in late July in at least two of the ten regions defined by the Department of the Family, the agency said the program will impact some 172,837 families in the regions that are proposed to resume work. Family Markets program allocates 4% of the PAN grant, which approximately contributes $ 35.5 million to the purchase of fresh food harvested on the Island.
Flores Ortega reported that Family Markets will have a direct impact on some 125 farmers who sell its products from the farm, while it will benefit 200 other farmers indirectly. The economic impact that the agricultural sector will receive is ent re $ 200,000 to $ 400,000 monthly throughout Puerto Rico.