BISMARCK – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new $6 billion initiative called Pandemic Assistance for Producers, designed to reach a broader set of producers than previous COVID-19 aid programs. The initiative will include existing programs like the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) which will be refined, as statutory authority allows, to better address the needs of producers.
The USDA will also develop rules for new programs that put a greater emphasis on small and socially disadvantaged producers, organic producers, timber harvesters, specialty crop producers, the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuel, among others.
“The new programs will target underserved producers, those of a smaller size and those growing less traditional crops,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “The CFAP 2 program will be reopened for at least 60 days beginning on April 5.”
Four parts of the initiative were announced yesterday and included:
- Investing $6 billion to expand help and assistance to more producers;
- Adding $500 million of new funding to existing programs;
- Carrying out formula payments under CFAP 1, CFAP 2 and CFAP AA; and
- Reopening CFAP 2 sign-up to improve access and outreach to underserved producers.
Complete details on the announcement may be found at https://www.farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance.