< Back to H.R. 1894 (107th Congress, 2001–2002)

Text of the Farmers to Africa and the Caribbean Basin Act of 2001

This bill was introduced on May 17, 2001, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of May 17, 2001 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 1894 IH

107th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1894

To supplement current activities in the exchange of agricultural and farming expertise by establishing a grant program to support bilateral exchange programs whereby African American and other American farmers share technical knowledge with African and Caribbean Basin farmers regarding maximization of crop yields, use of risk management tools, expansion of agricultural trade, use of new financial instruments to increase access to credit, and other ways to improve farming methods, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 17, 2001

Mrs. Clayton (for herself, Mrs. Emerson, Mr. Payne, Mr. Bereuter, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Leach, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Osborne, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Gilman, Mr. Serrano, Mr. Boehlert, Mr. Bishop, Mrs. Morella, Mr. Baldacci, Mr. Houghton, and Mr. Hastings of Florida) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and in addition to the Committee on International Relations, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To supplement current activities in the exchange of agricultural and farming expertise by establishing a grant program to support bilateral exchange programs whereby African American and other American farmers share technical knowledge with African and Caribbean Basin farmers regarding maximization of crop yields, use of risk management tools, expansion of agricultural trade, use of new financial instruments to increase access to credit, and other ways to improve farming methods, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Farmers to Africa and the Caribbean Basin Act of 2001’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:

      (1) Many African farmers and farmers in Caribbean Basin countries use antiquated techniques to produce their crops, which results in poor crop quality and low crop yields.

      (2) Many of these farmers are losing business to farmers in European and Asian countries who use advanced planting and production techniques and are supplying agricultural produce to restaurants, resorts, tourists, grocery stores, and other consumers in Africa and Caribbean Basin countries.

      (3) A need exists for the training of African farmers and farmers in Caribbean Basin countries and other developing countries in state-of-the-art farming techniques regarding standard growing practices, insecticide and sanitation procedures, and other farming methods that will produce increased yields of more nutritious and healthful crops.

      (4) African-American and other American farmers, including banking and insurance professionals, are a ready source of agribusiness expertise that would be invaluable for African farmers and farmers in Caribbean Basin countries.

      (5) A United States commitment is appropriate to support the development of a comprehensive agricultural skills training program for these farmers that focuses on--

        (A) improving knowledge of insecticide and sanitation procedures to prevent crop destruction;

        (B) teaching modern farming techniques, including the identification and development of standard growing practices and the establishment of systems for recordkeeping, that would facilitate a continual analysis of crop production;

        (C) the use and maintenance of state-of-the-art farming equipment;

        (D) expansion of small farming operations into agribusiness enterprises through the development and use of village banking systems and the use of agricultural risk insurance pilot products, resulting in increased access to credit for these farmers; and

        (E) marketing crop yields to prospective purchasers (businesses and individuals) for local needs and export.

      (6) The participation of African-American and other American farmers and American agricultural farming specialists in such a training program promises the added benefit of improving access to African and Caribbean Basin markets for American farmers and United States farm equipment and products and business linkages for United States insurance providers offering agricultural risk insurance products and technical assistance.

      (7) Existing programs that promote the exchange of agricultural knowledge and expertise through the exchange of American and foreign farmers have been effective in promoting improved agricultural techniques and food security and thus the extension of additional resources to such farmer to farmer exchanges is warranted.

SEC. 3. FARMERS FOR AFRICA AND CARIBBEAN BASIN PROGRAM.

    (a) DEFINITIONS- In this section:

      (1) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Agriculture.

      (2) AGRICULTURAL FARMING SPECIALIST- The term ‘agricultural farming specialist’ means an individual trained to transfer information and technical support relating to agribusiness, food security, the mitigation and alleviation of hunger, the mitigation of agricultural and farm risk, maximization of crop yields, agricultural trade, and other needs specific to a geographical location as determined by the Secretary.

      (3) ELIGIBLE FARMER- The term ‘eligible farmer’ means an individual owning or working on farm land (as defined by a particular country’s laws relating to property) in the sub-Saharan region of the continent of Africa, in a Caribbean Basin country, or in any other developing country in which the Secretary determines there is a need for farming expertise or for information or technical support described in paragraph (2).

      (4) CARIBBEAN BASIN COUNTRY- The term ‘Caribbean basin country’ means a country eligible for designation as a beneficiary country under section 212 of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (19 U.S.C. 2702).

      (5) PROGRAM- The term ‘Program’ means the Farmers for Africa and Caribbean Basin Program established under this section.

    (b) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM- The Secretary shall establish a grant program, to be known as the ‘Farmers for Africa and Caribbean Basin Program’, to assist eligible organizations in carrying out bilateral exchange programs whereby African-American and other American farmers and American agricultural farming specialists share technical knowledge with eligible farmers regarding--

      (1) maximization of crop yields;

      (2) use of agricultural risk insurance as financial tools and a means of risk management (as allowed by Annex II of the World Trade Organization rules);

      (3) expansion of trade in agricultural products;

      (4) enhancement of local food security;

      (5) the mitigation and alleviation of hunger; and

      (6) other ways to improve farming in countries in which there are eligible farmers.

    (c) ELIGIBLE GRANTEES- The Secretary may make a grant under the Program to--

      (1) a college or university, including a historically black college or university, or a foundation maintained by a college or university; and

      (2) a private organization or corporation, including grassroots organizations, with an established and demonstrated capacity to carry out such a bilateral exchange program.

    (d) TERMS OF PROGRAM- (1) It is the goal of the Program that at least 1,000 farmers participate in the training program by December 31, 2005, of which at least 800 will be African farmers or farmers in Caribbean Basin countries and 200 will be American farmers.

    (2) Training under the Program will be provided to eligible farmers in groups to ensure that information is shared and passed on to other eligible farmers. Eligible farmers will be trained to be specialists in their home communities and will be encouraged not to retain enhanced farming technology for their own personal enrichment.

    (3) Through partnerships with American businesses, the Program will utilize the commercial industrial capability of businesses dealing in agriculture to train eligible farmers on state-of-the-art equipment and to introduce eligible farmers to the use of insurance as a risk management tool.

    (e) SELECTION OF PARTICIPANTS- (1) The selection of eligible farmers, as well as African-American and other American farmers and agricultural farming specialists, to participate in the Program shall be made by grant recipients using an application process approved by the Secretary.

    (2) Participating farmers must meet certain educational requirements and targets regarding the productivity of their farm or agribusiness.

    (f) GRANT PERIOD- The Secretary may make grants under the Program during a period of 5 years beginning on October 1 of the first fiscal year for which funds are made available to carry out the Program.

    (g) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2002 through 2006.