Agriculture, Food & Beverage In Puerto Rico

We Sustain Business

Research Capability and Incentives Create the Climate For Success

A new generation of farmers⁠ is building on the foundation of Puerto Rico’s agricultural community, launching farm-to-table restaurants, developing artisanal food products, and embracing sustainable farming techniques. These trends, combined with competitive incentives and emerging interest in hemp and medical cannabis, mean that agriculture in Puerto Rico continues to grow and evolve.

90%
share of agbiz income that is exempt from income taxes
11.8K
people in the food manufacturing workforce
$869M
total food manufacturing GDP

Agricultural Incentives

Bona Fide Farmers are exempt from paying income taxes on 90% of income that comes directly from the agricultural businesses. Eligible activities include:

  • Raising animals to produce meat, milk, or eggs used for human food, or raw materials for other industries
  • Agricultural operations that buy raw material produced in Puerto Rico
  • Activities of the dairy industry
  • Marine culture, commercial fishing, and aquaculture
  • Commercial production of flowers, plants, and ornamental grasses
  • Cultivation of fruits and vegetables by hydroponic methods
  • Breeding thoroughbred, racing, riding, and fine-step horses
  • Tillage or cultivation of the land to produce fruits, vegetables, spices, and seeds

For more information on the exemption, see Chapter 8 of Act 60 (page 243). 

Manufacturing Food and Beverage Products

Food and beverage manufacturing is a major contributor to the local economy. Global giants such as Coca-Cola and Goya, as well as local enterprises like Vaquería Tres Monjitas and Molinos de PR, employ thousands of people and contribute significantly to the island’s GDP.

  • Cervecera de Puerto Rico sells $176M of its Medalla Light beer every year
  • World-famous rum distilleries like Bacardi and Serralles (Don Q) and smaller craft producers supply more than 70% of rum sold in the United States, or about half a billion dollars

Envision a Future In Agriculture Biotechnology

Agricultural biotechnology is one of the fastest growing sectors of Puerto Rico’s economy, fueled by favorable year round climate, skilled and professional labor, agricultural academic research centers, excellent soil quality, proximity to the U.S. mainland, a rapid transportation system, and intellectual property protection.

Companies including Pioneer, Bayer, Sygenta, Mycogen Seeds, and Dow-Agro employ more than 2,500 people and boast a combined estimated operational budget of more than $75 million.

Puerto Rico’s Agricultural Biotechnology Assets

The University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez is a land-grant university with a well-developed agricultural sciences research community and several agricultural experimental stations across the island.

  • A 22,000 sq. ft. facility for agricultural biotech research and training (CEIBA) 
  • Seed research and field trials at several company research stations
  • Major research and development projects in agricultural products including corn hybrids and other field crops
  • Favorable weather conditions allow four to five crops to be produced in a year period
  • Micropropagation and tissue culture facilities

Download Sector Sheet

Ready to Invest in Ag, Food, & Beverage?

Fill in your details so one of our Business Development associates can contact you, or feel free to reach out.

Ernesto Rolón III

Business Development Manager
+1 (239) 440-4540
erolon@investpr.org