GG NEWS 2006

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New increase of postal rates and PR economy

As of May 14th, 2007, postal rates have again increased. The postal rate for large packages (over 1 cubic foot) is not calculated by weight anymore but by size. Unfortunately, this increase was not the usual 5-20% but in some cases it is 100% (!) or more. That means that the shipping and handling cost per tree is at least $9 from now onwards, except if the trees are very small. Seed packages are still relatively cheap.

Since the vast majority of goods sold in PR is imported, one can only imagine how this will affect overall prices in the near future. Additionally, exporting goods, including agricultural products will similarly become increasingly uneconomical.

PR's economy does not look bright, to say the least. Just in one year alone we were hit with a new sales tax, the price of water has more than doubled, electricity went up, construction material went up between 35% and over 100% (sand, rebars) over the past few years, the gasoline price has more than doubled, and the local tax agency is becoming increasingly aggressive. All these are certain signs of an impending economic depression. The real test for the island will come when the price of imported food (94% of what is locally consumed) will go up too. I hope that we will have started our sustainable role model farm by then, so that a new generation of local farmers can follow the example and contribute to local food sovereignty.

If you are interested in supporting our planned "Oro Verde" project - a fully sustainable, educational and productive role model farm - please contact me. To end this blod on a positive note: the "Oro Verde" book is selling fast and the local response is very promising. The book has received excellent reviews and has stirred up some thinking amongst the agricultural community as well as some of the local political leaders.

Best,
Sadhu

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