Puerto Rico Farm Credit (PRFC) shared good news at the close of its fiscal year 2020. Among the initiatives announced by the financial institution specialized in supporting the agricultural sector, it includes the creation of a virtual platform with online course programs that It will offer financial training to farmers and agribusinesses in the country.
The “Puerto Rico Farm Credit University” program will have four modules in its basic program, “AgBasics” that includes courses and videos on specific topics in order to strengthen skills in the development of business plans, as well as on financing and project management.
"We are excited about the launch of this innovative program that supports the addition of very useful tools for the proper management and growth of agribusiness projects, and the financial aspect of them. The online courses are short and have educational videos that participants can conveniently access. At the end of the modules they receive a certificate," said Ricardo L. Fernández, president of the PRFC.
The course program is available to all farmers who are PRFC clients, as well as to bona fide farmers and agribusinesses in the country. The basic course has four modules and 8 videos and participants have a maximum of 4 weeks to complete it at a nominal cost of $30.00 for each module.
According to Fernández, additional online courses will be added, including the AgBiz Masters program, which will consist of ten modules. Entities that support this initiative include the Guayacán Group, Informe Agrícola, the Puerto Rico Farmers Association, Puerto Rico Agribusiness Women, and the Agroenterprise Genesis of the University of Puerto Rico, Utuado Campus.
“PR Farm Credit University is a local initiative of the bank with the goal of offering a continuing education platform for the training, expertise and sophistication of remote agribusinesses, something that previously did not exist as a formal program in Puerto Rico. We will continue developing topics and courses to support agriculture and agribusiness at the local level," he added.
Multimillion-Dollar Dividend Distribution
The PRFC reported at its Annual Meeting that, at the close of fiscal year 2020, the institution has distributed $2.9 million in dividend payments among its farmer partners. The distribution achieved represents up to 45 percent of the interest paid by clients and is the equivalent of 99 percent of the net income that is being returned to the bank's clients.
"2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges, starting with the earthquakes and earthquakes that mainly affected the agricultural sector in the south and southwest, as well as the challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the support, trust and commitment of our farmer partners, we made operational adjustments to achieve efficiencies that allowed us to reach the goal of distributing dividends among our clients this year again. We are proud to report that in the past five years, we have distributed a total of $11,200,000. These funds that return to our farmers to strengthen the agricultural sector are evidence that we fulfill our mission and leverage the great potential of this important economic sector in the country," Fernández said.
Support to EnterPRize and Grupo Guayacán
In 2021, PRFC revalidated as a sponsor of Grupo Guayacán's EnterPRize program in the Agribusiness and Food category, which awards $20,000 to the winner.
In the last edition, AgroPek, LLC, a family agribusiness planting and distribution of agricultural products founded in 2012 by Cindy Cruzo and Josué Román was the winner in this category. The PRFC has sponsored this award with the goal of continuing to promote the development of agribusiness concepts.
EnterPRize, the Guayacán Group's competition and business creation accelerator, provides emerging companies with access to workshops, consulting and seed capital for their business ideas.
To highlight the faces, passion and resilience behind our agriculture, the PRFC announced a campaign that recognizes the commitment of our farmers, under the slogan #FarmerStrongPR.
It will begin to spread on Instagram and Facebook in the coming weeks with stories and testimonies from those who work daily with enthusiasm and great determination, facing challenges and challenges to get ahead with their crops and projects that nourish the country with fresh products and lots of hope.
About Puerto Rico Farm Credit
Founded in 1922, the PRFC, as a specialized financial institution, has the mission of helping farmers and their families with financing alternatives for their businesses or homes in rural areas.
The banking institution belongs to a network of 72 entities organized under a structure of agricultural cooperatives in the United States, which offer their partners and clients a range of financial products in the short, medium and long term, at very competitive rates, with the objective of support and strengthen the agricultural sector.
For more information, visit www.prfarmcredit.com.