‘We have to do things differently’ — After Hurricane Maria, These small farms in Puerto Rico are making food more sustainable and resilient in the face of the climate crisis.
Back to back hurricanes in 2017 exposed the instability of Puerto Rico’s food supply system. Puerto Rico only produces 10% of its own produce so when the ports closed due to the devastation, food shortages ensued. Especially fresh produce. People relied on canned goods and unhealthy snacks that FEMA provided. 80% of the agriculture industry in Puerto Rico was destroyed because of heavy rains and wind gusts over 100 mph. But some farms survived. Agroecological farms were able to offer fresh vegetables just a month after the storm. Those farmers are part of a resilient movement that actually sees farming as a way for Puerto Rico to be more self-sufficient, and they’re using ancestral knowledge and biology to make this new food supply more sustainable and less vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters.