One ag group is pointing out the flaws in President Biden’s attempt to address the global food crisis
At least one ag group is expressing concern over President Biden’s plan to address the global food crisis, from the war in Ukraine.
The plan includes half a billion dollars in increased marketing loan rates for farmers to double-crop soybeans and wheat. The National Association of Wheat Growers says that it would really only help farmers in about four states. They would have to plant short-maturing beans this spring, then follow with winter wheat this fall. The American Soybean Association says that it is waiting for more details before commenting.
As part of that aid, USDA will spend nearly $400 million dollars to ship the food.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack told the House Ag Appropriations Committee that he is concerned it will cost more to ship the food than it costs to the government to buy it. He said that he is not sure he has the authority to waive requirements that the food be moved on U.S. carriers, which will add to the cost.
We are also learning more about a humanitarian fund that will be used to buy that food.
The administration emptied the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust of its $282 million dollars. The money will be used to buy U.S. commodities to send to Yemen and Africa. The trust used to be a strategic grain reserve but has only held cash since 2008. It can only be used in times of unanticipated food crises. The U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, told lawmakers that they have been working closely with USDA.
“In response to the rising global food insecurity, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine’s impact on global food supplies, USAID and USDA are in very active dialogue to determine the specifics that would go into drawing down funding from the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust,” USAID’s Sarah Charles explains.
The nearly $400 million dollars to transport the food will come from the Commodity Credit Corporation.