In an effort to assist South Dade’s farmers that are taking a big financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, and to give the South Florida agricultural industry a much needed boost, County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava is calling for comprehensive farm aid.
“To help curb the spread of COVID-19, our entire food and hospitality industry nearly shut down overnight. This tragically resulted in an unprecedented oversupply of fresh fruits and vegetables grown by our local farmers,” said
Commissioner Levine Cava. “Our federal government needs to take bold and swift action to support our growers who cannot sell their produce, and to prevent millions of pounds of excess produce on the verge of perishing from going to waste.”
A resolution sponsored by Commissioner Levine Cava urges Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide assistance to farmers by implementing several strategies, including:
• Directly purchasing excess fruits, vegetables and other crops from growers for use in assistance programs;
• Providing timely financial assistance in the form of direct payments to growers that have lost product due to cancelled sales or unharvested
• Qualifying the COVID-19 national emergency as a business interruption for federal crop insurance purposes; and
• Temporarily stopping the importation of the same types of produce that are currently oversaturating the U.S. market.
The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to support the resolution.
Traditionally, agriculture is second only to tourism as Florida’s top industry. Now that the pandemic has temporarily shut down tourism, agriculture is now number one.