New Online Agricultural Statistics Tool Highlights Puerto Rican Crop Production in Detail

New Interactive platform for crops in Puerto Rico

March 30,  2020, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico. — The USDA Caribbean Climate Hub has launched a new tool that puts crop production across Puerto Rico in the spotlight in a dynamic online platform. The tool, Agricultural Statistics, is the first of its kind for Puerto Rico, containing downloadable data on over 100 crops, detailing their production, harvest, and crop information.

With Agricultural Statistics users can:

  • Identify where crops are produced in a given year,
  • View the distribution of each crop at various scales (island, agricultural region, municipality and neighborhood), and
  • Download crop production information in map or table format,

Agricultural Statistics was made possible thanks to an interagency agreement between the USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry and the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture (PRDA) who provided crop production data from the agency’s agricultural census. This collaboration allowed for the development of an interdisciplinary tool that uses technology, programming, statistics, geographic information systems (GIS) and graphic design to provide the user with a dynamic experience in statistical data and content visualization.

Tania G. Díaz Camacho and Nora L. Álvarez-Berríos at the computer editing the tool.

Photo: (L to R) USDA Caribbean Climate Hub’s Tania G. Díaz Camacho and Nora L. Álvarez-Berríos editing the Agricultural Statistics tool.

Human activities have caused elevated greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change. The effects of climate change include shifts in rainfall patterns and rising temperatures. These effects put food security at risk by affecting the timing of agricultural production, crop yield and the availability and price of local products.

“Better and wider access to information on crop distribution and productivity trends can help people and agencies understand vulnerabilities and to plan for a sustainable future,” said Hub Director Dr. William A. Gould.

The tool provides the general public with estimates of agricultural data collected by PRDA’s Office of Agricultural Statistics, which is in charge of gathering this information from farmers and merchants in Puerto Rico. Data is available at the island, agricultural region, municipality, and neighborhood levels from 2013 through 2016, and will be updated as new PRDA data becomes available.

Ag Stats tool coffee distribution example.

The information provided by the tool can help farmers, food marketers, and researchers to plan their agricultural business, use the data for market studies, assess transport routes, assess trends in agriculture, and deciding what, where and when to grow a product.

Since this will be the first time data on local agricultural production is widely-accessible, teachers can take advantage of the opportunity to use Agricultural Statistics as an resource in the classroom, showing students where local crops are grown. Researchers can use the data in projects related to agriculture and food security. Applications of the tool are numerous and open to the needs and creativity of the users. For details, users can visit the ‘User Guide’ and ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ sections of the platform.

Climate projections for the Caribbean include increased temperatures and rising sea levels, prolonged periods of drought, combined with events of high intensity rainfall. The Agricultural Statistics tool is intended to be a resource that supports sustainability and food security in the archipelago of Puerto Rico.

Explore the Agricultural Statistics tool

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