Following a trip to Puerto Rico in July, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new agricultural trade partnerships between the state and the island, according to information from the governor’s office.
Following the July 24 trip with a delegation of SUNY and CUNY students and staff, nonprofit and labor leaders, and other elected officials, the governor pledged to help Puerto Rico rebuild its agriculture and food supply systems affected by Hurricane Maria. The state will work with local farmers, the University of Puerto Rico and other partners to provide technical assistance and expertise.
Trade between New York and the island has been growing, with the expansion of New York-grown apples, cabbages and onions into Puerto Rico, and watermelon, mangoes and pumpkins grown in Puerto Rico coming into New York. The agricultural trade opportunities will exceed $1 million in economic benefit to both areas, according to the governor’s office.
According to the Build Back Better report (https://on.ny.gov/2kOdlN8) on damage from hurricanes Irma and Maria, Puerto Rico’s agricultural sector — primarily made up of small, family-owned farms — experienced $1.8 billion in damages. The report, which came from Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosello’s office, noted that nearly $250 million in crops and more than 2.2 million animals were lost.