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USDA seeks comment on ways to help rural farmers increase income, expand markets

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking input on ways to better help rural businesses and agricultural producers develop and market new products.

The USDA is interested in recommendations to improve the application process and eligibility requirements for the Value-Added Producer Grant Program, which receives at least 12 petitions a year from Puerto Rico farmers, said Luis R. García, USDA Rural Development acting state director for Puerto Rico.

“The program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities to help process and market new products,” he said.

“This program helps to generate new products, create, and expand marketing opportunities and increase producer income,” said García.

USDA is seeking comments on:

  • Ways to measure the economic and market impact of post-harvest activities;
  • Whether it should allow applicants to write their business plans without assistance from qualified business consultants;
  • When the agency should set the application deadline; and,
  • How it can help rural businesses meet food safety requirements and purchase food safety equipment.

USDA will hold a virtual listening session on these topics on Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. Interested parties may register through this link.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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