In November 2017, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provided $10.9 million in technical and financial assistance to help farmers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands repair damage and rebuild following hurricanes Irma and María. This investment was made through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIS), a Farm Bill conservation program.
“USDA remains committed to helping the people of Puerto Rican agriculture with every means at our disposal. With this funding, we can assist local farmers in repairing damages to their land and existing conservation practices caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
To expedite disaster recovery, NRCS issued waivers allowing farmers to receive payment and begin implementing key conservation practices prior to contract approval. These practices included the disposal of dead livestock, the construction of animal mortality facilities, replacement of roofs and covers on agricultural buildings and debris removal.