`USDA Provides 'Historic' Funding for Specialty Crops - Olive Oil Times

USDA Provides 'Historic' Funding for Specialty Crops

Nov. 3, 2021
Daniel Dawson

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest $243 mil­lion into grants for spe­cialty crop devel­op­ment and research. Olives are included on its list of 47 eli­gi­ble fruits and veg­eta­bles.

The USDA said it would make $169.9 mil­lion avail­able directly to local agen­cies (such as the Olive Oil Commission of California) and agri­cul­tural orga­ni­za­tions (such as the California Olive Oil Council) in the form of block grants. The agency’s goal is for local enti­ties to help spe­cialty crop farm­ers become more com­pet­i­tive.

See Also: Most Agricultural Spending Does More Harm Than Good, UN Report Claims

The remain­der of the fund­ing will be invested in the agency’s spe­cialty crop research ini­tia­tive, which will fund projects to address dis­ease and pest man­age­ment, improve pro­duc­tion effi­ciency and prof­itabil­ity for farm­ers, develop tech­ni­cal inno­va­tions and improve food safety for both con­ven­tional and organic farm­ers.

This his­toric level of fund­ing will help the spe­cialty crops indus­try recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pan­demic,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Over the com­ing months, as we work dili­gently to trans­form our food sys­tem, you will con­tinue to see Build Back Better fund­ing announced that includes a mix of grants, loans and inno­v­a­tive financ­ing mech­a­nisms,” he added.

This new round of grants for spe­cialty crop farm­ers comes a lit­tle more than a year after the USDA decided to include olive farm­ers in its sec­ond round of coro­n­avirus relief fund­ing after exclud­ing them from the first round.

In total, the sec­ond coro­n­avirus relief pack­age amounted to $20.5 bil­lion, with indi­vid­ual farm­ers and com­pa­nies awarded a max­i­mum of $250,000 to make up for lost pro­duc­tiv­ity.





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