USDA awards grants $57K to local agricultural fund
The Integral Agricultural Development Fund, known as FIDA in Spanish, received a $57,415 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be used to provide energy audits or renewable energy development assistance to farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses.
This project will assist approximately 35 agricultural producers, said José Otero-García, USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico on Wednesday.
The grant was one of 26 awarded across the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico to help rural small businesses and agricultural producers conserve energy and develop renewable energy systems.
The funding is being provided through the Energy Audit & Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants Program, which is administered under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) which provides grants & loans guarantees for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements for farms and rural small business, grants for energy audits and renewable energy planning and developments grants to service providers who work with farmers and rural small businesses.
“The funding USDA is awarding today underscores the importance of continuing to make investments that empower agricultural producers, commercial enterprises and other organizations to do their part to reduce energy usage or use energy more efficiently. This will have an impact not just in rural areas where the projects are located, but across the nation as we work toward energy independence,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
Renewable energy development assistance grants help agricultural producers and rural small business owners use renewable energy systems in their operations. Energy audits can help recipients determine the most effective ways to conserve energy through systems upgrades, change in fuel sources, or implementation of energy efficiency measures.