Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Promises about Agriculture on The Obameter

Launch an international Add Value to Agriculture Initiative (AVTA)

"In order to increase the incomes of subsistence producers, decrease the pressure on shrinking arable lands, and minimize the vulnerability of commodity exports to global price shocks, an Obama administration will launch the AVTA Initiative. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are committed to spurring research and innovation aimed at bringing about a Green Revolution for Africa, by partnering with land grant institutions, private philanthropies and business to support agricultural processing through increased investment in research and development for improved seeds, irrigation methods, and affordable and safe fertilizers."

Create incentives for tree planting and promote carbon sequestration

"Will develop domestic incentives that reward forest owners, farmers, and ranchers when they plant trees, restore grasslands, or undertake farming practices that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere."

Regulate pollution from major livestock operations

"In the Obama Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency will strictly monitor and regulate pollution from large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) - which raise more than 40 percent of U.S. livestock - with fines for those who violate tough air and water quality standards."

Increase funding for organic and sustainable agriculture

"To support the continued growth of sustainable alternative agriculture...will increase funding for the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program to help farmers afford the costs of compliance with national organic certification standards; and will reform the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency's crop insurance rates so that they do not penalize organic farmers."

Encourage farmers to use more renewable energy and be more energy efficient

"Will encourage the use of methane digesters that are being used to produce power from animal waste; and will expand USDA projects that focus on energy efficiency and conservation."

Limit subsidies for agribusiness

"Obama will implement a $250,000 [farm commodity] payment limitation so that we help family farmers, not large corporate agribusiness. Obama will close the loopholes that allow megafarms to get around the limits by subdividing their operations into multiple paper corporations."

Strengthen anti-monopoly laws to favor independent farmers

"Obama will strengthen anti-monopoly laws and strengthen producer protections to ensure independent farmers have fair access to markets, control over their production decisions, and fair prices for their goods."

Give tax incentives to new farmers

Obama "will also provide tax incentives to make it easier for new farmers to afford their first farm. Obama will increase incentives for farmers and private landowners to conduct sustainable agriculture and protect wetlands, grasslands and forests."

Require production of more biofuels

"Will require at least 60 billion gallons of advanced biofuels by 2030. … Will invest federal resources, including tax incentives and government contracts into developing the most promising technologies and building the infrastructure to support them."