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US government loans millions to jumpstart urban farming

Every year, the US Department of Agriculture devotes millions of dollars to farmers in rural areas.

The government is increasingly starting to offer assistance to urban farms, too.

In 2016, the USDA funded a dozen urban farms, the highest number in history, Val Dolicini, the administrator for the USDA Farm Services Agency, tells Business Insider.

In 2017, he expects the USDA to funnel even more money toward farms on rooftops, in greenhouses, and in warehouses.

USDA Microloans, a program that offers funding up to $50,000, is specifically geared toward urban farmers. Established in 2013, the program has awarded 23,000 loans worth $518 million to farms in California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Though it is open to all farmers, urban farmers often apply for it because it offers the money on a smaller scale than other programs. Seventy percent (or about 16,100 of those loans) have gone to new farmers, many of them in cities.

Read more at Business Insider

Publication date: 1/4/2017

 


 

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