Published and draft legislation - Puerto Rico

Female Farmers Programme

Law 58

On 1st August, Puerto Rico’s legislative assembly passed  Law 58 creating the Farming Women Programme, run by Puerto Rico’s Agriculture Department, to promote and develop the participation of women in farming, providing help, guidelines and making it easier for those women farmers defined in the regulation as bona fide to access essential services.

Bona fide female farmers

Article 2c) of the regulation covers any natural or legal person who, during the tax year for which they are claiming the deductions, exemptions or tax advantages provided for under  Law 225-1995 on Agricultural Contributory Incentives in Puerto Rico, has a valid certificate issued by the Department of Agriculture. This document has to validate that, during the period in question, the person has been engaged in an activity classified as a Farming Business and that the person takes at least 50% of this enterprise’s gross revenue as its operator, owner or lessor, as stated on their income tax return.

Farming business

To define the scope of application, the law describes the category of Farming Business. Any operation or exploitation in the Associated Free State of Puerto Rico in businesses such as: working and farming land to produce fruit or vegetables, whether as animal fodder or for human consumption; animal stockbreeding for meat, milk and egg production; horse breeding; agro-industrial and agri-business operations; activities relating to fishing and flower farming, among others, are classified as a farming business.

The regulation leaves the definition open to include any business that is recognised as a farming business by the Puerto Rican Secretary of Agriculture.

The Programme

The Programme will offer seminars and workshops that are directly related to the needs that have been identified in the farming sector over the years, such as: marketing, production, quality, security and managing this type of business. These activities will be organised through cooperation agreements between the State and Federal Departments, together with other institutions such as the University of Puerto Rico’s Farming Sciences College or the Department of Work and Human Resources’ Training for the Businesspeople of the Future.

Furthermore, in order to facilitate financing for these farming programmes led by women, the bodies listed above and the Puerto Rican Economic Development Bank will grant incentives and aid and it will be possible to receive contributions and donations to collect funds for the programme.

Research, studies and reports

This programme to stimulate the efficiency, productivity and marketing of local farming products sold by women must be supported by an annual report on the progress made. In addition, research and studies that deal with the particular needs of these producers should be promoted.