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Jenniffer González Celebrates Federal Opportunities with Farmers in Jayuya to Reinforce Their Products

Press Release

Date: Oct. 8, 2020
Location: Jayuya, PR

The Resident Commissioner, Jenniffer González Colón, urged farmers to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the federal government to start, continue or strengthen their production and thus decrease dependence on food imports, ensure our food sustainability and strengthen this important economic sector.

The congresswoman made the exhortation in the delivery of grant certificates of funds under the Added Value program, along with Josué Rivera, state director of Rural Development of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA for its acronym in English). These funds are thanks to the approval of funds by the administration of President Trump to help rural businesses and agricultural producers throughout the nation including Puerto Rico.

USDA will invest $ 2,460,000 in Puerto Rico through the Value Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG), money that can be used to develop new agricultural products or expand marketing opportunities. In Puerto Rico, eleven Agricultural Producers (farmers, poultry farmers, ranchers, others) will receive funds to cover working capital expenses, such as salaries, processing materials, packaging and labeling, public services, marketing, delivery, expansion and up to the 10 % of administrative expenses.

"Agriculture is vital for our own existence and economic development and for this I have worked in committees such as the Small Business in Congress and even brought the Federal Secretary of Agriculture to visit the farms and talk with agricultural producers. For every natural disaster we have faced, I have worked to keep our agriculture afloat. All those who received these funds today bear the seal of fact in Puerto Rico, that is, they carry a seal of quality. Our farmers filled out the documents, competed and won with other proposals from across the nation. I am proud of them and that the federal programs, of which we fight for inclusion, are moving today, "said the congresswoman.

"These funds will help farmers and ranchers develop new products, improve their operations and create a strong local and regional food system," said Josué E. Rivera, USDA State Director for Puerto Rico. "Under the leadership of President and Secretary of Agriculture Perdue, USDA-RD has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner for the rural areas of Puerto Rico in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all America prospers. "

Funds for distance education

The congresswoman and the state director of Rural Development also announced the allocation of $ 1,867,641 to two institutions to strengthen distance education and telemedicine. USDA is funding 116 projects through the Distance Education and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program nationwide including two in Puerto Rico.

The program helps health and education institutions purchase the equipment and software necessary to implement telemedicine and distance learning services for rural residents.

$ 998,076 will be awarded to the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust. This investment will be used to provide a telecommunications link to offer educational programs, instruction, and information to students and teachers in rural areas.

Some of the most remote communities in Puerto Rico suffered the greatest health and mortality crises following the recent hurricanes, earthquakes and the COVID-19 pandemic.
This project will also improve medical care for remote communities and reduce costs, but will also lessen the negative impact on health in anticipation of future natural disasters.

The Western Region Migrant Health Center, Inc. will receive $ 869,565
This investment will be used to provide substance use disorder treatment, mental health counseling and primary care services through telemedicine among 11 service branches. This project will change the way telecommunications services can be provided to rural and vulnerable communities in Puerto Rico


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