Since early 2018, the vast majority of our funding has been used to purchase materials and equipment for small farms and fishing associations, enabling them to resume operations and resuscitate their tattered communities after Hurricane Maria. Our donations include seeds, trees, soil, irrigation pipes, cement blocks, pier lumber, boat engines, refrigerators, solar panels and more.
Our long-term mission is to reshape and strengthen Puerto Rico's food economy. The island unnecessarily imports a whopping 85% of its food, which diminishes its job opportunities, quality of life, and culture. In 2019, we began offering low-cost microloans to support the growth of local food producers. The interest earned from these loans will be used to fund other initiatives.
In 2020, we will begin launching educational programs to foster the next wave of agribusiness entrepreneurs; improve the business skills of farmers and fishermen; facilitate networking and the sharing of best practices; connect local chefs with local food producers; and expose more consumers and school children to the benefits of local farming and fishing through sponsored tours.