In 1914, food production and agriculture accounted for 70% of Puerto Rico’s overall economy. Unfortunately most of this belonged to US-owned “centrales.”
Today the island has a different problem. Puerto Rico imports up to 85% of the food it consumes, and agriculture accounts for only 1% of the island’s economy. But this is changing.
8,000 new acres of coffee and 8,000 acres of avocado were recently planted. Another 30,000 abandoned acres were reclaimed, bringing the available land to nearly 640,000 available acres.
SOME REACHABLE GOALS
According to Puerto Rico Secretary of Agriculture, Myrna Comas Pagán, the island could double its local food production within ten years, and can reasonably aim for growing 40% of its own food.
This local produce currently sells through hotels, restaurants and catering companies…but it must also sell in supermarkets.
LOCAL CROPS…NOT CORPORATE BUYOUTS
Café Yaucono is one of the best coffee beans on the planet…but recently, Yaucono was purchased by the Coca Cola corporation, through a subsidiary named PRCR, LLC.
Under its new Coca Cola management, Yaucono beans are now “mixed” and “blended” with third-class beans from other countries, and still sold under the Yaucono label. In this manner, the Puerto Rican product is being cheapened…its reputation is worn away…and the profits from this cheapening and exploitation, are kept by Coca Cola.
This constant cheapening of Puerto Rico, and the off-shoring of corporate profits, does not benefit the island. It is not a good model of economic development for Puerto Rico.
As Puerto Rico begins to recover its agricultural base, the island does not need Roundup Pesticide, Roundup Ready Seeds, or any GMF (genetically modified foods).
Puerto Rico does not need Monsanto as a landlord, or as a “seed consultant.”
It does not need Coca Cola to buy its best coffee crops, and then cheapen them with third-rate “blended beans” from other countries.
Many jobs, farms, and businesses will rise from the agriculture of Puerto Rico…if they keep foreign interests out of it.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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