USDA announces $125 million for Food for Progress program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend $125 million on its Food for Progress program in fiscal 2005.
The commodity donations from this program will benefit 16 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
The Food for Progress allocations announced Tuesday include more than 300,000 metric tons of U.S. wheat and flour, corn, rice, soy products, vegetable oils, beans and other commodities that will be bought on the U.S. market and donated by USDA.
USDA said the commodities will go to nonprofit organizations and the United Nations World Food Program to support agricultural and rural development projects, while helping to address food shortages. Development projects are funded by sales of the donated U.S. commodities within the recipient countries, USDA said.
Selection criteria for this year’s projects include the following objectives:
* Helping countries fill food and nutritional gaps.
* Assisting countries with trade-capacity building and other economic and market transitions under trade agreements.
* Helping countries recover from conflicts.
“For each announced donation, detailed agreements must still be negotiated,” the USDA said.
In the coming weeks, USDA said decisions will be made on additional fiscal 2005 Food for Progress donations that will be funded under P.L. 480, Title I, for overseas governments and nonprofit organizations. The 1985 Food for Progress Act provides for USDA donations of agricultural commodities to developing countries and emerging democracies to encourage economic or agricultural reforms that foster free enterprise.
USDA also provides foreign food help through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, and through Section 416(b) of the 1949 Agricultural Act.
During fiscal 2004, USDA supplied more than 1 million metric tons of U.S. food aid commodities valued at $375 million to about 80 countries.