USDA offers $52m grant to boost organic food system
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has offered around $52m in grants to boost local and organic food system in the country to cater to the increasing demand for local and organic options.
The funding will be used to increase consumer access to local, sustainable, and healthy meat, as well as local swine and cattle products.
Of the total funding, around $27m is being provided in competitive grants by USDA's AMS to expand marketing through the new Local Food Marketing Promotion Program (LFPP) and the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP).
USDA is providing over $19m in grants to help producers and processors, who have already adopted organic standards, to grow and market quality organic agricultural products through the Organic Research and Extension Initiative.
It is also providing $4.8m in CFP funding to 22 projects in 16 states, while AMS is awarding an additional $1m to state departments of agriculture and state colleges and universities.
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said: "Local and regional food systems are one of the pillars of our efforts to revitalize rural economies.
"Investing in local and regional food systems supports the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers, especially smaller operations, while strengthening economies in communities across the country. Today's announcements also improve access to fresh, healthy food for millions of Americans."
Image: The funding will be used to increase consumer access to local, sustainable, and healthy meat. Photo: courtesy of Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.