USDA offers Value Producer Grant for farmers - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

USDA offers Value Producer Grant for farmers

by Jolene Toves

Guam - If you are a farmer, the USDA may have a grant you may want to take advantage of. Especially if you are going to be receiving compensation from legislation recently signed into law by Governor Eddie Calvo.

USDA area director Joseph Diego told KUAM News, "The value added producer grant is a grant program its actually a 50/50 cost share grant that allows farmers and ranchers to look at the business side of their work."

The grant offers up to 200-thousand dollars of working capital and up to $100,000 for planning to farmers who have dreams of taking their product from the farm to the market. "Basically if they want to do something to explore the feasibility of bringing their product to an export market level or to wholesalers here basically how that mechanism is going to work for their business then this grant is going to work for them," he said.

The grant is available to farmers in Guam, the CNMI, and the Freely Associated States and according to Diego there is a considerable amount of interest, interest which has been met with challenge. "The challenge we are having is these farmers and rancher coming up with the resources to match the application they are applying for," he explained.

The grant is based on the premise of "You put in your share we will put in ours".

"What it is because it is a match they would submit let's just say they have a task for $50,000 we are going to say okay you put in your $25,000 and we will put in our $25,000 share so it meets that $50,000 task," he said.

And while farmers must secure their own financial resources by tapping into a savings, or securing a loan, for some local farmers who are going to be receiving financial relief as part of the 450 thousand recently appropriated this grant may be your lucky break. As the USDA's angle is if you are planning to expand anyway why not approach USDA for a cost share instead of carrying the full burden of costs. 

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