Puerto Rico’s Farms Were Wiped Out. Here’s How They’re Bouncing Back
Government and grassroots efforts are helping agriculture recover from Hurricane Maria—and emerge stronger than before.
“You could hear chainsaws everywhere,” says Owen Ingley, director of Plenitud Teaching Center, an educational farm in Las Marias Puerto Rico. It was the second day following the most devastating hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in 80 years. The municipality of Las Marias was out to work clearing roads and checking in on neighbors.
“The collective understanding was that the government and the municipality were going to be very busy,” Ingley says. “No one was going to wait for them to come down our small road.”
Eighty percent of the U.S. territory's crop value was decimated by the storm, says Carlos Flores Ortega, the Secretary for the Department of Agriculture for Puerto Rico. Estimates of the damages to the agriculture industry