SAN JUAN – The Resident Commissioner, Jenniffer González-Colón, announced a new opportunity to help farmers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that includes Puerto Rico. It is the federal CFAP 2 program that has an additional allocation of $ 14,000 million.
Given the continuing need for farmers across the nation, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a second program known as CFAP 2, which continues to support under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, as well. known as regular CFAP (for its acronym in English), which ends on October 9 for Puerto Rico, Louisina, Oregon and Texas.
The period to apply for CFAP 2 begins this next Monday, September 21 and ends on December 11, 2020. The purpose continues to be to assist farmers facing market disruptions and associated costs. The period of losses considered for financial assistance under CFAP 2 runs from April 16 to August 31, 2020. The original regular CFAP coverage period runs from January 15 to April 15, 2020. Farmers who applied for and received funds under regular CFAP and continue to face declining sales related to supply chain disruption and increased costs after April 16 could be eligible for CFAP 2.
“This change offers a new opportunity for farmers to receive financial assistance given the damage sustained by COVID-19. Our farmers continue to be affected by social distancing measures that caused the temporary closures of shops, schools and other markets that they supply. I continue to encourage them to contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency office to receive more information and process their application, ”commented the commissioner.
According to the CFAP 2 page, there are over 230 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and other crops that are eligible, including crops grown in Puerto Rico. Some of these are banana, banana, acerola, avocado, carambola, guava, lemon, Chinese, papaya, parcha, melon, pineapple, mango, grapefruit, coconut, pitaya, yautía, taro, aubergine, sweet potato, coriander, tomato, broccoli , among others.
Initially, the original CFAP program was made available with current loss information. This left several crops nationwide – including several major island crops, out of the eligible classification. After learning about the impact this could have, the commissioner’s office began advocating for the inclusion of additional crops directly with USDA. The agency announced two additional rounds of crops, and now included even more after announcing CFAP 2.
“Now our farmers have more of their crops identified as eligible for direct assistance under CFAP 2, and more time to approach FSA and begin application procedures. This was a significant achievement as there were several of our crops that were ineligible at the start of the program. Again, all interested persons should contact the FSA for guidance and request before December 11, 2020, “said the commissioner.
For more information, you can contact the FSA offices in San Juan at 787-294-1613, or any of its regional offices on the island. You can also visit the CFAP 2 page, www.farmers.gov/cfap.