AGRICULTURAL CARGOES

 

AGRICULTURAL/FOOD ASSISTANCE

The Cargo Preference Act of 1954 46 USC 55305 requires that at least 50 percent of the gross tonnage of all Government-generated cargo, including Agricultural commodities, be transported on privately owned, U.S.-flag commercial vessels to the extent such vessels are available at fair and reasonable rates. 

“It’s the policy of the United States to use its abundant agricultural productivity to promote the foreign policy of the United States…” 7 USC 1691.  The Food for Peace Act (7 USC 1691 to 1738r) contains the various programs, as listed below, utilized by the United States to accomplish this policy. 

TITLE I (7 USC 1701) the Economic Assistance and Food Security Program provides for government-to-government sales of U.S. agricultural commodities to developing countries on credit terms or for local currencies. Agreements also may be signed with nongovernmental private entities. Commodities provided under the program may be sold in the recipient country and the proceeds used to support agricultural, economic, or infrastructure development projects.

TITLE II (7 USC 1721) the Emergency and Private Assistance Program provides for agricultural commodities donated by the U.S. government to meet emergency needs.  Commodities may be provided under government-to-government agreements or through public and private agencies, including intergovernmental organizations, such as the United Nations World Food Program and other multilateral organizations. Non-emergency assistance may only be provided through private voluntary organizations, cooperatives, and intergovernmental organizations.

TITLE III (7 USC 1727) the Bilateral Grant Program provides for government-to-government grants to support long-term growth in the least developed countries. Donated commodities are sold in the recipient country, and the revenue generated is used to support economic development programs. In recent years, this title has been inactive.

FOOD FOR PROGRESS (7 USC 1736o) provides for the donation or credit sale of U.S. commodities to developing countries and emerging democracies to support democracy and an expansion of private enterprise.  The donated commodities may be sold in the recipient country, and the proceeds used to support agricultural, economic, or infrastructure development programs. Assistance is provided through foreign governments, private voluntary organizations, nonprofit organizations, cooperatives, or intergovernmental organizations.

 SECTION 416(b) (7 USC 1431) the Disposition of Commodities Program provides for overseas donations of surplus commodities.  Availability of commodities depends on Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) inventories and acquisitions.  The commodities are made available for donation through agreements with foreign governments, private voluntary organizations, cooperatives, and intergovernmental organizations.  The donated commodities may be sold in the recipient country, and the proceeds used to support agricultural, economic, or infrastructure development programs.

The MCGOVERN-DOLE INTERNATIONAL FOOD FOR EDUCATION AND CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM (7 USC 1736o-1) provides for donations of U.S. agricultural products, as well as financial and technical assistance, for school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects in low-income, food-deficit countries. The commodities are made available for donation through agreements with private voluntary organizations, cooperatives, intergovernmental organizations, and foreign governments. Commodities may be donated for direct feeding or for local sale to generate proceeds to support school feeding and nutrition projects.

BILL EMERSON HUMANTARIAN TRUST (7 USC 1736f-1) is not a food aid program, but a food reserve administered under the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture. U.S. commodities from this reserve can be tapped to respond to humanitarian food crises in developing countries, particularly when a crisis emerges unexpectedly.  The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to release commodities from the Trust to provide food aid for unanticipated emergency needs that cannot otherwise be met through Food for Peace.

Title I, Food for Progress, Section 416(b), and the McGovern-Dole programs are administered by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Titles II and III are administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)


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