Senior Policy Specialist
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USDA Announces Pilot Program to Offer Coverage for Fruits and Vegetables, Organic and Diversified Farms
RAFI says Whole-Farm Revenue Protection is positive step, but more reforms are necessary.WASHINGTON, DC (May 21, 2014) – Today, USDA’s Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, announced a new crop insurance option for producers with diversified farms. The new policy, known as Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, is designed to cover producers with multiple crops. “Whole-Farm Revenue Protection looks to be a positive step toward addressing the risk management needs of producers who have historically been underserved by crop insurance,” says James Robinson, Research and Policy Associate at the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI). “But additional reforms are needed, especially around beginning farmer access to whole-farm revenue insurance.”
Existing whole-farm revenue policies have been underutilized by growers largely because of the cost and complexity of such policies. Whole-Farm Revenue Protection incorporates grower-driven reforms, including higher coverage options, expanded geographic availability, and coverage of some post-production activities such as washing, trimming, and packaging. “RAFI worked with Congress and USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) to allow coverage of post-production activities that do not add value to a crop. The change is a key part of simplifying whole-farm revenue insurance and covering the actual cost of bringing a crop to market,” says Robinson Whole-Farm Revenue Protection will be available for the 2015 crop insurance year. The policy in its entirety has not yet been made publicly available. Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI) is a non-profit organization that traces its heritage to the National Sharecroppers’ Fund, which was founded in the 1930s by a bi-racial group of tenant farmers organizing for fair treatment. RAFI cultivates markets, policies and communities that support thriving, socially just and environmentally sound family farms.