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CENTRAL AMERICA – Puerto Rico plans a major push to the coffee industry

SAN JUAN – When Puerto Rico’s economy seems so vulnerable, citizens leaving to the U.S. for better opportunities there seem to be some respite for the island’s coffee industry. Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla disclosed a plan that will generate 6,000 new jobs in the beautiful island in the next two years.

The plan is to develop a huge land of 6,300 hectares to plant and harvest some of the best Puerto Rican coffees.

The project will require $4.2 million in incentives for landowners and farmers. The Department of Agriculture will also offer technical advice.

The Governor also announced $670,000 in grants as a production subsidy programmed to stimulate the coffee production.

He also said his administration was “convinced that agriculture is not a commitment to the past – that it shouldn’t be seen with nostalgia”.

“Agriculture is a very important tool for the present and the future path”, he added.

Agreement has been signed with 25 nurseries and the project should start by February which will target 6,300 hectares, and the Governor predicts this will help to lift the Puerto Rican coffee production by 30%.

Puerto Rico from the Caribbean region is aiming to take a larger share in the global coffee market. Towards south, the island of Dominica has recently planned a programme to increase it’s coffee production by partnering with the Government of Venezuela.