On December 12, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration announced an additional $325 million in funding for agricultural projects aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage climate-smart production. This additional funding brings the total to $3 billion devoted to 141 partnerships under the climate-smart commodities effort since September.
Climate-Smart Commodities effort
The Climate-Smart Commodities effort uses financial incentives to encourage climate-smart production practices and allocates funding to the different costs that occur in agricultural and forestry operations. The USDA is financing 141 various partnerships to produce climate-smart commodities in a variety of projects lasting one to five years. The programs directly support farmers, ranchers, private forest landowners, and climate-smart management solutions. The USDA’s plan is that this funding will expand opportunities for small and underserved farmers. In addition, the projects under each partnership focus on expanding and increasing market access for climate-smart commodities. However, it's important to consider the adverse effects that can occur with switching our production practices and how it may limit our resources.
With the Biden Administration continuing to increase funding, it brings up the question of: Will the recipients of the programs actually continue to uphold their practices after receiving funding? The Republican Party and many others are questioning the USDA’s transparency and whether the funding will be allocated correctly as there is very little to no direction from Congress. In addition, there are concerns with the ability to monitor which programs succeed, as it might take years to be able to study the results. While increasing the production of commodities offers some benefits, there are many other factors the Biden-Harris Administration and Congress need to consider before continuing to allocate more funding to the Climate-Smart Commodities effort. The effects of climate-smart productions are often not seen for years, and it's important to continue to evaluate all the factors as examined in the Global Warning Film and the effects that these "climate-smart methods" have on our economy.
Written By: Montse Chamorro, The GCMG Agency, Social Media Coordinator