Fruit and vegetable growers in 16 states received some good news from the USDA.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it will provide $3.7 million of assistance through a GAP Assistance Program to enhance market access by defraying costs of undergoing voluntary USDA Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audits in 2019.
“These audits help producers meet Produce Safety Rule standards and will also improve their ability to sell into markets that expect growers to demonstrate that they have incorporated a culture of food safety into their operations,” said Marketing and Regulatory Program Undersecretary Greg Ibach. “We are excited to be able to support producers pursuing these audits in the 2019 season.”
Beginning Jan. 2, 2019, USDA’s Risk Management Agency will provide Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) funds to cover up to 100 percent of the cost of the Harmonized GAP audit and the Harmonized GAP Plus+ audit for farmers in the following 16 states, which are authorized by Congress to receive financial assistance for conservation and financial risk mitigation:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
The funding will be available to assist producers in 2019 or longer, depending on availability of funds.
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