$14bn to support US aquaculture producers during the pandemic

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) urges aquaculture producers to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Programme (CFAP-2) in light of a new $14bn investment.

The USDA will take several actions to assist farmers, aquaculture producers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 crisis. President Donald Trump directed the USDA to craft the initial $19bn immediate relief programme to provide critical support and maintain the integrity of the US food supply chain. The additional $14bn aims to give producers the ability to absorb increased marketing costs and compensate producers for market disruptions stemming from the pandemic.

US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, said: “During this time of national crisis, President Trump and USDA are standing with our farmers, ranchers, and all citizens to make sure they are taken care of. The American food supply chain had to adapt, and it remains safe, secure, and strong, and we all know that starts with America’s farmers and ranchers.

“This programme will not only provide immediate relief for our farmers and ranchers, but it will also allow for the purchase and distribution of our agricultural abundance to help our fellow Americans in need.”

Aquaculture operations that are undergoing financial difficulties due to the current pandemic can apply for CFAP 2 at local county Farm Service Agency offices. Payments are capped at $250,000 per person or entity. Corporations, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits when members actively provide personal labour or personal management for the farming operation. In addition, this special payment limitation provision has been expanded to include trusts and estates for both CFAP 1 and 2.

Aquaculture producers who wish to acquire CFAP-2 funding will have to certify that they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 or provide evidence that more than 75% of their income is derived from aquaculture-related activities. Producers must also follow Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions.

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