Washington D. C., October 18, 2023 – Maximiliano J. Trujillo-Ortega, USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico, spoke today at the “Empowering Futures: Catalyzing Economic Development and Entrepreneurship in Puerto Rico” panel hosted by Friends of Puerto Rico, in Washington, DC.
Trujillo-Ortega indicated that this event brings attention to Puerto Rico´s path to economic growth and USDA Rural Development Puerto Rico´s role in helping improve the archipelago´s rural communities quality of life. These investments by Rural Development, particularly on renewable energy thanks to the Biden-Harris Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), will help the economic development in rural Puerto Rico.
USDA Rural Development total Investment in FY 2023 has been $38,877,875 and with the investment of the participants contribution, the total investment in rural areas of the island is $57,937,315. The investment by the federal government in conjunction with the investment of the private sector places Puerto Rico on the path of a sustainable economic development.
Trujillo-Ortega talked about the investment USDA Rural Development announces this week for $3.8 million and that it has made through the Rural Business-Cooperative Service Program during Fiscal Year 2023, stating that “a economic vibrant rural area will contribute in having a prosperous economic growth for the entire Puerto Rican archipelago.”
Fertilizer Production and Expansion Program (FPEP) $3,840,000.
Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan: 80% Guaranteed loan up to $18,600,000 RD Investment. Total Investment with participant contribution of $23,250,000.
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP): $6,120,073 with the contribution of the participants $19,759,513.
Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG): $770,000, with the contribution of the participants $1,540,000.
Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP) $8,025,000.
Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) $1,022,802.
Rural Energy for America Technical Assistance Grant (REAP TAG) $500,000.
The Inflation Reduction Act is a key part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda and is the nation’s largest-ever investment to combat climate change. USDA Rural Development is moving quickly to give farmers and rural communities relief through clean energy investments that will lower energy bills for families and businesses and reduce pollution.
These investments made through the Inflation Reduction Act are powering the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to make USDA programs more inclusive, accessible, and available to more people than ever before so that these benefits are felt for generations to come. Many of these programs are also part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which is advancing environmental justice by ensuring that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments reach disadvantaged communities that are marginalized and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov
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