The secured loan program would increase the capacity of the food supply chain
The Biden administration will provide up to $ 1 billion in loan guarantees to expand capacity “in the middle of the food supply chain”, ultimately resulting in fairer prices for farmers and better consumer access to food. healthier food, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The application window for the Food Supply Chain Secured Loan Program opened on Thursday and is expected to last until February 7 or longer.
Eligible projects would involve the ‘start-up or expansion of activities in the middle of the food supply chain – in particular the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transport, wholesale or distribution of food – to increase capacity and help create a more resilient environment. , a diverse and secure US food supply chain, ”the USDA said.
The projects would be limited to guarantees of up to $ 40 million.
Vilsack said $ 100 million in USDA funds would support the $ 1 billion in loan guarantees.
Under such programs, the USDA promises to repay a large portion of a loan if the borrower fails to repay the debt. Loan guarantees should result in more favorable conditions for projects.
The $ 100 million is in addition to the $ 500 million already committed by the USDA to increase meat and poultry processing capacity.
“The pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities and created extreme disruption in the US food supply chain,” Vilsack said. “The reduction in meat processing capacity is just one example of supply chain bottlenecks affecting small and medium-sized farmers. ”