The US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA is to invest $300 million in a new Organic Transition Initiative to help build new and better markets and streams of income for farmers and producers.
According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, the number of non-certified organic farms actively transitioning to organic production in the US has fallen by nearly 71% since 2008. The comprehensive support provided by this initiative is aimed at reversing this trend, opening opportunities for new and beginning farmers and expanding direct consumer access to organic foods through increased production.
The initiative will deliver wrap-around technical assistance, including farmer-to-farmer mentoring; provide direct support through conservation financial assistance and additional crop insurance assistance, and support market development projects in targeted markets.
“Farmers face challenging technical, cultural, and market shifts while transitioning to organic production, and even during the first years after successful organic certification,” said Vilsack.
“Through this multi-phased, multi-agency initiative, we are expanding USDA’s support of organic farmers to help them with every step of their transition as they work to become certified and secure markets for their products.”