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Puerto Rico's Farmers Rebound From Hurricane Maria, But Federal Funding Still Lacking

Luis Pinto lost about $300,000 worth of plantain trees, livestock, roads and fences on his farm near Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. "When I saw the desctruction, I just cried. But I said, 'The show must go on,'" he says. (ALLISON KEYES/NETNEBRASK/FERN)

One year ago, Hurricane Maria swept over Puerto Rico, bringing 150 mph winds. Nearly 3,000 people died, homes and buildings were ruined and farms were destroyed all over the U.S. territory.

According to Luis Pinto, a farmer near Yabucoa, southeast of the capital San Juan, the sound of the wind screaming through the trees “felt like the hurricane was crying.” Plantain trees were flattened on Pinto’s farm. In all, the storms caused $300,000 in damage to his crops, cattle, fences and roads.

The federal farm bill authorizes a list of programs to help farmers rebuild after storms, droughts and even wildfires. For a recent episode of its podcast, On the Table, Harvest Public Media partner NET in Nebraska joined with the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN) to talk with farmers in Puerto Rico about the help they’ve received.

Read the FERN article here.

And to listen to the On The Table podcast from NET, Nebraska’s PBS and NPR stations, choose:

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