ODSEC and Bayer sign agreement to promote environmental sustainability

Puerto Rico

Celebrating National Public Gardens Week with a commitment to the communities of the north, south, and center of Puerto Rico.

San Juan, Puerto Rico – April 22, 2024 – Within the framework of the celebration of National Public Gardens Week, the signing of a collaborative agreement was announced between the Office of Socioeconomic and Community Development (ODSEC) and Bayer Crop Science, to offer agricultural, environmental protection and food sustainability workshops for children and adults from the communities of the northern, central, and southern areas of Puerto Rico.


The information was provided by the director of ODSEC, Thais Reyes Serrano, who expressed that “we are very pleased to conclude this alliance and that it coincides with the celebration of Planet Day because it demonstrates our real commitment to the protection of the environment and the sustainable development of “school and community gardens.”


It was explained that this is the formalization, renewal, and expansion of a collaboration that has continued since June 2021 and marks an important milestone in the trajectory of Bayer and ODSEC in the search for a greener and more sustainable future. Through it, both entities will continue to bring Bayer's Sow and Grow and Learn community outreach programs to the northern, central, and southern areas of Puerto Rico through the coordination of ODSEC's regional community services officers.


Grow and Learn (“Crece y Aprende”) is Bayer’s educational program in agricultural sciences for children. Its objective is to provide activities about agriculture and sustainability that students participate in as part of their academic curriculum. The program also seeks to introduce concepts of self-management and sustainability within the family nucleus and generate permanent collaboration initiatives with schools and organizations interested in expanding or complementing their educational offerings.


Meanwhile, Sow (“Siembra”) is Bayer's agricultural educational program for youth and adults. It seeks to provide basic agricultural knowledge with an entrepreneurial twist so that participants can produce part of the food they bring to their tables, create businesses, or implement community agricultural programs.


"The collaborative agreement contemplates the inclusion of the older adult population participating in the ODSEC 'Vida Plus' program to carry out Siembra program workshops."


In addition, the official announced that “Bayer showed interest in exploring the possibility of involving the Department of Agriculture and the Administration of Families and Children (ADFAN) of the Department of the Family.”


For his part, Frederick Ortiz-Emmanuel, leader of the Bayer Crop Science station in Juana Díaz, reported that as part of this agreement, ODSEC personnel received a tour of the Bayer facilities in Juana Díaz.

What we seek with this type of projects is to promote a culture of environmental protection and sustainability through education and tools that strengthen community passion and leadership. Through the years that we have been bringing these programs to communities, schools, and organizations, we have seen the interest shown by thousands of people – particularly our youth and our seniors – in learning more about agriculture and how it can be harvest part of the food they consume. This makes us very happy and fills us with satisfaction that we can collaborate to make this knowledge available. We thank ODSEC for the trust and opportunity to continue and expand our collaboration to benefit our communities for a more resilient Puerto Rico.
Frederick Ortiz-Emmanuel
Leader of the Bayer Crop Science station in Juana Díaz

In 2023, the Grow and Learn program had 719 participants, while the Siembra program enrolled 302 for a total of 1,021 participants in nine municipalities of Puerto Rico. This is 18% more than the total of 860 participants in 2022. The Grow and Learn program alone recorded a 39% increase in participants. These results are a product of the company's ongoing partnership with the Puerto Rico Office of Socioeconomic and Community Development (ODSEC), as well as organizations, schools, and community groups identified by Bayer employees.


About Bayer

The Bayer Group is a global company with core competencies in the fields of healthcare, nutrition, and agricultural biosciences. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group seeks to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand is synonymous with trust, reliability, and quality throughout the world. In fiscal year 2023, the Group employed around 100,000 people and had sales of 47.6 billion euros. R&D expenses before extraordinary items amounted to 5.8 billion euros. 


About the Office of Socioeconomic and Community Development (ODSEC)

The Office for Socioeconomic and Community Development of Puerto Rico (ODSEC) is attached to the Office of the Governor with the responsibility of implementing and executing public policy on community development and development of the Third Sector to achieve its strengthening, position the Government as a facilitating entity in community self-management initiatives; promote strategies that are consistent with public policy regarding economic and community development; and serve as an advisor to municipal governments, communities and non-profit organizations to empower them in the development process.


Jorge D. Beníquez, Lic. R-425
Tel. 787-782-8800 / 787-479-9137