Puerto Rico to lease farmland to boost production

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s governor is leasing state property to local farmers in a bid to boost the island’s sluggish crop production.

Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Wednesday that 17 farmers will receive more than 1,400 acres (560 hectares) so they can plant a variety of crops. The land is in the central town of Villalba and surrounding areas.

Garcia says the government will train farmers and provide economic incentives as well as help market their products.

He says the farmers who are successful will eventually be awarded the property they help cultivate.

His administration aims to increase to 75 percent the portion of Puerto Rican-produced food in the meals served in public schools across the U.S. territory.

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