Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture
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The Department of Agriculture of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Departamento de Agricultura de Puerto Rico) is one of the few Cabinet-level government agencies explicitly created by the Constitution of Puerto Rico as the Department of "Agriculture and Commerce", most of the commerce at the time of its enactment being agriculture-based. Prior to the Constitution, according to law 60 of April 25, 1940, it was known as Department of Agriculture.Its purpose is to:
- Support agricultural production, commercial fishing, and aquaculture to ensure fair prices and stable markets for producers and consumers;
- Work to improve and maintain farm income; and
- Help to develop and expand markets abroad for agricultural products.
DAPR administers rural development, credit, and conservation programs that are designed to implement national growth policies, and it conducts scientific and technological research in all areas of agriculture. Through its inspection and grading services, DAPR ensures standards of quality in food offered for sale.
Thrpughout the years, the Department's name has been modified, as well as its structure, but today remains a separate structure with additional agencies and public corporations as part of the Department of Agriculture "umbrella".
The Department is headed by a cabinet Secretary, appointed by the Governor of Puerto Rico and subject to the advice and consent of the Senate of Puerto Rico.. The current incumbent is former House Agriculture Committee chairman Javier Rivera Aquino.