Funding is First Part of $75 Million Investment to Support a Fairer Food System and Expand Access to Nutritious Food
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces significant investments to support urban agriculture, including $43.1 million for grants and cooperative agreements as well as six new urban county committees to help deliver key USDA programs to urban producers. These actions support USDA’s efforts to strengthen the food supply chain and transform the food system to be fairer, more competitive, and more resilient.
Specifically, USDA is investing $10.2 million in new cooperative agreements to expand compost and food waste reduction efforts and $14.2 million in new grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects. Additionally, $18.7 million will fund 75 worthy grant proposals from the 2021 application cycle, which was oversubscribed.
Composting and Food Waste Reduction Cooperative Agreements
This is the third year of USDA’s Composting and Food Waste Reduction (CFWR) cooperative agreements, and so far, USDA has invested $3 million in community composting in urban areas across the country. The $10.2 million to be awarded in 2022 will fund pilot projects that develop and implement strategies for municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans.
Local governments may submit projects that do one or more of the following:
· generate compost;
· provide access to compost to farmers;
· reduce fertilizer use;
· improve soil quality;
· encourage waste management and permaculture business development;
· increase rainwater absorption; reduce municipal food waste; and/or
· divert food waste from landfills.
Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP) Grants
This is also the third year of OUAIP grants, which have already provided more than $7.5 million focused on food access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers, and development of policies related to zoning and other needs. The $14.2 million to be awarded in 2022 will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through:
· Planning Projects that initiate or expand efforts of urban and suburban farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools and other stakeholders to target areas of food access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers, urban forestry, and policies related to zoning and other needs of urban production.
· Implementation Projects that accelerate urban, indoor and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers and improve local food access. They may support infrastructure needs, emerging technologies, education and urban farming policy implementation.
For more information, see the full press release here.