THE US FURTHER STRENGTHENS SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS
While everyone has been getting ready for the end of the year festivities, it is worth mentioning that the US’s Congress has just passed last week its $900 billion COVID-19 relief package.
Evidently, this includes a new round of aid to a wide array of agricultural sectors and farmers on top of the previous packages, which aimed to already cope with the COVID-19 crisis and the effects of the trade war with China.
Just as a quick recap, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Funding alone has made available $30 billion in relief to the ones in need in the form of direct financial assistance and not loans that need to be paid back.
The share of this new round is estimated to be at $13 billion directly to agricultural programs managed by the Agriculture Department with another $13 billion towards nutrition and food assistance.
The comprehensive relief package includes once again aid for dairy, livestock and poultry as well as crop producers, who are eligible to receive a payment of $20 per eligible acre of the crop. Finally, biofuel producers have not been left out either, as they have suffered significant losses due to the decline in fuel consumption.
The bill not only contains provisions for direct financial support but also has a great deal of other agriculture-related provisions to ease the pressure on US farmers, ranchers and other food producers and processors.
On this side of the Atlantic, in the EU, the previous emergency measures taken were necessary but obviously not enough for some sectors, notably the EU wine one.
President Trump has signed this week the coronavirus relief and it is therefore now up to the EU, to be able to match this ambition for its own farmers, not only in words but action.