Puerto Rico 2023-2024 MSP - Program Assistant

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2023: $33,000.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2024
Grant Recipient: University of Puerto Rico
Region: Southern
State: Puerto Rico
State Coordinator:
Nicolás M. Cartagena
University of Puerto Rico


No commodities identified


No practices identified

Proposal abstract:

The scope of the proposed work is to educate and develop capacities and competencies using different learning methods to promote sustainable agriculture practices among extension faculty members and local farmers and producers. We will emphasize resilience as a tool for sustainable agriculture when facing the effects caused by climate change and the consequences of natural disasters. Puerto Rico depends on the importation of most of its food (85%), with the particularity of having first quality land and excellent weather conditions throughout the year favorable for the growth of multiple crops. We want to offer tools to all participants so that they obtain the skills and competencies to produce with greater economic viability in their operations and in harmony with the environment. As part of the learning strategies, the Puerto Rico Agricultural Extension Service (PRAES) will use the demonstration of methods, field days and excursions to show and encourage the implementation of sustainable practices to preserve natural resources for present and future generations.

Project objectives from proposal:

The funds will be used to promote sustainable agriculture using different learning approaches and methodologies.

  1. Course in farm administration with an emphasis in sustainability components. This course is for farmers and ranchers, we estimate the participation of 30 local farmers and ranchers. This course will consist of six (6) different meetings to complete 30 contact hours. Educational resources will have mileage and per diem expenses covered. The topics that we are going to teach include:
  1. The Importance of the Agriculture Sector
  2. Risk Management in agribusiness
  3. Inventory
  4. Balance Sheet
  5. Pay roll and employer obligations
  6. Income and Expenses
  7. Cash Flow, Budget
  8. Basic concepts of Marketing
  9. Perspective of sustainable agriculture in programs of the PRAES

In the final day we will invite other government agencies to promote their programs, including USDA - FSA and NRC, PR Department of Agriculture, and share what SARE offers.

2. From Conventional to Sustainable - Transitioning Topics (New group). Through a questionnaire we will establish the level of knowledge, experience, and skills. Train the trainer’s capacity building will define sustainable agriculture, organic, agroecology, environmentally friendly, tropical, and the effects of climate change over agricultural production.

Process for sustainable certification – certified natural process – development of process by farmers from the ground up with support of PRAES Faculty. The topics are Soil fertility: Management, compost, cover crops, organic matter, chemistry, soil chemistry, physics, and biology.

Integrated Plague Management: natural and biorational plague management. Land and Water conservation techniques: engineering and agronomic. Seed production: local varieties. This initiative will last six days, including graduation and participant certification. It will provide 30 contact hours with classroom and field work. Participants will meet every three weeks. Participants consist of 15 Extension Faculty and 5 lead farmers. No more than twenty persons. Audience and educational resources will have mileage and per diem expenses covered.

3. The project will promote sustainable practices in the bean crop production for small producers. Bean crops are a valuable source of protein and fiber for the human diet. This crop is very popular in the Puerto Rico’s daily diet. The frequent consumption of string beans has many benefits for human health. In terms of sustainable practices, beans contribute to restore nitrogen to the soil and improve its quality. This crop also will be using as a rotational crop and cash crop given the opportunities to the producer to maintain an inflow and improve soil properties. To carry out this objective will be planning to establish two demonstrative fields. The first one at the Gurabo Experimental Station of the University of Puerto Rico and the other in a private farm (to be determined). The main objective of those demonstrative fields is to show and promote sustainable practices and the proper management in sustainability practices. We expect to increase the level of conscience in participants, using different demonstrative outreach methods. Extension faculty will have mileage and per diem expenses covered.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.