USDA launches COVID-19 financial assistance for farmers

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a new program called the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to purchase and distribute agricultural products to those in need throughout the country, including Guam.

This new program will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. It is one of the provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Ken Lujan, the manager of the Guam Small Business Administration branch office, says CFAP will provide financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19.

Under the program USDA will purchase $461 million in fresh fruits and vegetables, $317 million in a variety of dairy products, $258 million in meat products and $175 million in a combination box of fresh produce, dairy or meat products.

Suppliers will package these products totaling $1.2 billion into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need from May 15 through June 30.

The Agricultural Marketing Services division may elect to extend the period of performance of the contracts, via option periods, dependent upon program success and available remaining funds, up to $3 billion.

There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined.

Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies or limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits where members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation.

Eligible entities include those producers dealing with:  Non-specialty crops and wool, livestock, dairy, and specialty crops.

For additional information on payment structure and how agricultural businesses can apply for assistance, please visit: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap

Lujan says the new CFAP program is in addition to the recently announced Farmers to Families Food Box program.

The Farmers to Families Food Box program partners with regional and local distributors, whose work forces have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat and deliver boxes to Americans in need.

For further details visit the solicitations page.

General Program Information

Request for Proposal and Applicable Attachments