US: Democratic senators look to expand urban agriculture assistance

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., is leading an effort to improve USDA programs supporting urban and suburban agriculture. On Friday, he introduced the Supporting Urban and Innovative Farming Act of 2023. The bill would reform programs overseen by the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, commonly known as OUAIP. He says those changes will improve the content and delivery of technical assistance to urban and innovative producers. It would also enable cooperative agreements with community experts, increase access to grant funding and promote composting and food waste initiatives.

“I came to Washington to fight for forgotten communities and urban areas are notably underserved when it comes to food security and nutrition,” Fetterman says. “As chair of the Nutrition Subcommittee, I am proud to introduce this bill that will combat food deserts and malnutrition in urban areas and support small, beginning, and underserved farmers. My legislation will increase existing investments in PA agriculture through vertical farms, community gardens, and much more.”

Joining Fetterman as co-sponsors were Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Bob Casey, D-Pa, Ed Markey, D-Mass., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

The bill would establish $50 million in mandatory annual funding for OUAIP. Both the House and Senate Appropriation Committees recently eliminated funding for that program. Supporters of the bill say that OUAIP is critical to bolstering local food supply chains in urban communities and investing in innovative production.


Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.