Above: Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Padilla (Photo: La Fortaleza)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Following a Caribbean trend toward locally-grown produce, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed an executive order this week that will emphasize local agricultural products in the US territory.
The order involves a series of initiatives that will instruct Puerto Rican government agencies to preferentially purchase agricultural products grown on Puerto Rican farms.
The moves will also take steps to “maximize the potential” of government purchases of local products and identify native products that can replace those currently imported from abroad, according to a statement from La Fortaleza.
Also included is an initiative to increase the amount of local produce supplied in public school lunches, the Governor said.
“Government resources should be in line with our policy of job creation and the promotion of a healthy society, so this executive order has the dual purpose of achieving full and sustainable development for our agricultural industry while promoting better food for our students,” Padilla said at a press conference at the Villa Maria Antonia in Guánica this week.
Puerto Rico Agriculture Secretary Myrna Comas said the moves would “streamline and strengthen the production, consumption and distribution of our farmers.”