WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest $178 million in seven international development projects on four continents to support U.S. government priorities including promoting climate-smart agriculture, facilitating trade and addressing the root causes of migration in Central America, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today.
The funds are being awarded under the Food for Progress Program, through which USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service partners with non-governmental organizations and foreign governments on projects that help developing countries strengthen their agricultural systems and boost their trade capacity. This year’s awards are part of the $2 billion investment to strengthen global food security, announced by President Joe Biden at the United Nations General Assembly.
“Food for Progress is a cornerstone of USDA’s international capacity-building efforts. This year, as we emerge from a global pandemic and face the challenges of rising hunger and poverty, changing climate and the worldwide fallout of Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine, this work is more important than ever,” Vilsack said. “By partnering with private-sector organizations, local governments, and local producers and businesses, we are helping to build more equitable and resilient food systems, sustainably boost production capacity to combat food insecurity, and increase farmers’ incomes while enhancing their ability to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”
Through Food for Progress, USDA donates U.S. agricultural commodities to eligible entities such as private voluntary organizations and foreign governments, which then sell the commodities on the local market and use the proceeds to support agricultural, economic or infrastructure development programs. This year, USDA will donate 240,000 metric tons of commodities, valued at $129.6 million, for projects to:
- Support the Biden-Harris Administration’s strategy to address the root causes of migration in the Northern Triangle region of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras by focusing on sustainable and climate-smart agricultural production, trade facilitation and supply-chain integration;
- Improve the livelihoods of 60,000 coffee-producing households in areas of Burundi that have been threatened by ecological change and limited economic growth;
- Increase Jamaica’s spice yields by 50 percent, while also boosting processing and export capacity, through a systems-based approach and a focus on climate-smart production;
- Address food insecurity in Malawi through a project that will boost production and profitability for 35,000 farms through implementation of sustainable and scalable climate-smart agricultural practices;
- Assist cacao producers in Nigeria with increasing production capacity and decreasing their climate footprint while also implementing a traceability process across the cacao value chain;
- Boost yields and profits for 12,000 spice farmers in Peru by supporting their resilience though climate-smart production practices; and
- Promote adoption of climate-smart production practices by 30,000 farmers in Thailand through creation of a regional knowledge hub.
The seven new Food for Progress projects funded by USDA in 2022 are in addition to 41 projects currently underway in 38 countries. To learn more, view the complete list of 2022 Food for Progress awards.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, promoting competition and fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.