The Food for Progress program is an important tool in the effort to support sustainable agricultural production in developing nations and promote agricultural trade, USDA said in an August 19 press release. The program helps countries increase the value and output of their agricultural economy and build agricultural trade capacity. U.S. agricultural commodities donated to recipient countries through Food for Progress are sold on the local market, and the proceeds are used to support agricultural, economic or infrastructure development programs.
Projects funded in fiscal year 2014 will address a wide range of issues, including the mitigation of crop disease, capacity building to develop national agricultural extension programs and farmer cooperatives, improvement of seed varieties, and crop diversification. Commodities that USDA will provide include dehydrated potato flakes, corn, soybean oil, soybean meal, vegetable oil and wheat.
Examples of 2014 Food for Progress efforts include:
• USDA’s work with the National Cooperative Business Association to improve El Salvador’s coffee sector. Lending to agricultural producers, processors and other actors will be expanded and private-public partnerships will be leveraged to improve marketing and production infrastructure for this important crop. El Salvador’s coffee crop has been affected by coffee rust, which threatens to destroy plants, reduce outputs and destabilize coffee prices worldwide.
• USDA’s work with Catholic Relief Services, government ministries and the local university to improve the cacao agroforestry and livestock sectors in the impoverished eastern coast of Nicaragua. This project will help small producers achieve higher productivity and imnprove quality.
USDA’s food aid programs contribute to the goals of President Obama’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. Feed the Future is part of a multilateral effort launched at the L’Aquila World Summit on Food Security in 2009 to accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and suffering from hunger by 2015. More information on Feed the Future can be found at the Feed the Future website. USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service administers the Food for Progress program; more information is available on the Food for Progress Web page.
Below is a chart outlining fiscal year 2014 allocations for the Food for Progress program:
|Food for Progress Program: Fiscal Year 2014 Allocations|
* East Africa Regional: Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi