Puerto Rico Faces Extensive Damage After Hurricane Maria
Getty Images

Puerto Rico Faces A Grave Agriculture Crisis After Hurricane Maria: "There Will Be No Food"

“There is no more agriculture in Puerto Rico. And there won’t be any for a year or longer.”

Amid one of the worst hurricane seasons the world has ever seen, Puerto Rico has been hit with tremendous losses, unlike anything the island has ever seen. After losing all electricity, the Caribbean nation now faces a severe crop and agriculture crisis.

The New York Times reports that Hurricane Maria wiped out 80 percent of Puerto Rico’s crop value. The Category 4 storm had reportedly destroyed many plantations, chicken coops and dairy barns, making the disaster—as Puerto Rico’s secretary of the Department of Agriculture Carlos Flores Ortega claims, “one of the costliest storms to hit the island’s agriculture industry.”

READ: Marc Anthony To Trump: “Shut The F**k Up And Help Puerto Rico”

The Times spoke to a resident farmer in the area, José A. Rivera, where he boldly predicted that there will not be any food because of the extreme level of damage from Hurricane Maria.

“There will be no food in Puerto Rico,” said Rivera. “There is no more agriculture in Puerto Rico. And there won’t be any for a year or longer.”

Flores tells the Times that “plantain, banana, and coffee crops were the hardest hit” and dangerous landslides in the mountains destroyed many of the island’s roads, which critically damage their agricultural infrastructure.

“Sometimes when there are shortages, the price of plantain goes up from $1 to $1.25. This time, there won’t be any price increase; there won’t be any product,” Rivera explains. “When I heard the meteorologist say that the two had turned into a three and then a four, I thought, ‘Agriculture in Puerto Rico is over.’ This really is a catastrophe.”

Puerto Rico reportedly suffered a staggering $780 million loss because of the storm compared to Hurricane Irma, which took out $45 million worth of production of its agriculture.

READ: Lala Anthony Issues Urgent PSA For Puerto Rico Amid Hurricane Maria

“I have never seen losses like these in any of my 80 years,” said the plantation foreman Félix Ortiz Delgado. “Those palms take about 10 years to grow. I will be dead by then.”

Flores remains optimistic however in the face of such dire tragedy. While acknowledging that agriculture in general always the most vulnerable in natural disasters, he believes that now is time for a full revamp of their “antiquated” infrastructure.

“Agriculture is the most vulnerable sector to natural disasters,” Flores told The Times. “But it’s also the one that can have the speediest recovery, and it’ll be the great surprise in the Puerto Rican economy because we’re going to come back stronger.”

“We had an antiquated agricultural infrastructure that maybe now is the opportunity to make it more efficient,” he added. “Now is the moment because we’re starting from zero. Maybe it hadn’t been done before because there was no way of financing it. We’re going to rebuild better this time.”

Read the full story here.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Broward's Sheriff's office

Rising Florida Rapper YNW Melly Charged With Killing His Two Friends

Rising Florida rapper YNW Melly has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of his friends and roommates.

According to reports, Melly, real name Jamell Demons, is being held without bail in connection to the October 2018 shooting of fellow rappers Anthony Williams, 21, and Christopher Thomas Jr., 19. Both were shot multiple times at about 4:30 AM October 26 and later pronounced dead at Memorial Hospital Miramar.

Melly was the second person arrested in connection with the double-homicide, according to Miramar police. Cortlen Henry, 20, was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder. In January, Henry was arrested in Houston and extradited to Fort Lauderdale where he was taken into police custody.

Wednesday evening (Feb. 13) it was revealed via Melly's Instagram account he turned himself into police.

Per a Miramar new release, Henry and Demons attempted to cover up the murder as a drive-by shooting. However, after investigators spoke to Henry, they noticed his recollection of events didn't match up with the preliminary evidence. Demons, Thomas and Henry were all roommates and shared a two-story home in Miramar.

Henry was reportedly the driver while Demons shot both men. Demons was promoting his album, We All Shine, which features the certified gold track “Murder on my Mind.”

Continue Reading
Antonio Perez

Jason Van Dyke Reportedly Attacked In Federal Prison

Jason Van Dyke, the former Chicago police officer who shot Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014, was reportedly attacked shortly after being transferred to a Connecticut facility. According to the Chicago Tribune, Van Dyke was beaten inside his prison cell.

“We are petrified and very worried about Jason’s safety,” Van Dyke's wife Tiffany said in an emailed statement to reporters. “Jason wants to serve his time and does not want any trouble. We are hoping prison officials will take quick action to rectify this situation.”

Tiffany Van Dyke and her attorney allege they didn't know Jason was being transferred from Illinois to the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution. Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Reportedly, he could be released in as little as three.

The state attorney general and special prosecutors on Monday announced they filed a petition with the Illinois Supreme Court to challenge Van Dyke's sentence, which was handed down by Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan.

Despite being found guilty of 16 counts of aggravated battery--one count for each time Van Dyke shot the teen--he wasn't charged for it. Each count carries a minimum of six years in jail. When combined Van Dyke could've faced 96 years in prison.

After Van Dyke's conviction but prior to his sentencing, he was held in isolation at a Quad Cities-area jail. The decision was part of a Cook County arrangement for high-profile, dangerous or inmates cooperating with authorities in cases.

Continue Reading
Sergei Bobylev

Man Accused Of Murdering Wife Tells Cops "I Guess I Don't Have To Worry About A Divorce Now"

A Minnesota man accused of murdering his wife showed no remorse when taken into custody by local police. According to reports, Matthew Lynn Jansen reportedly made a joke about the fatality.

"I guess I don’t have to worry about a divorce now,” the 46-year-old quipped.

During Thanksgiving 2018, Jansen's estranged wife Mary Jo filed for divorce and while the proceeding was still pending, the couple still lived together. The 46-year-old later decided to move out and was expected to leave their house on Saturday.

According to a complaint, an "incident" occurred in December, which prompted other family members to remove the firearms from the home.

Friday night (Feb. 8) Jansen called 911 saying he shot his wife “I can’t believe I did it," Jansen reportedly said to 911 operators.

Investigators later searching the Jansen resident instructed him to exit the house without the weapon and found a receipt for a Smith & Wesson purchased earlier in February. An empty Smith & Wesson .44 was found on the steps of the home. An empty handgun was found in Jansen's truck.

Mary Jo's body was found in the couple's bedroom with gunshot wounds to her head and neck. Jansen will appear in court on March 18.

Continue Reading

Top Stories