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US Lawmakers Bill To Help Black Farmers Includes Antitrust Provisions

 |  February 10, 2021

Lawmakers introduced two bills to help minority farmers this week, aiming to address long standing injustices in the agricultural sector, reported Today. 

Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock on Tuesday introduced a $5 billion Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act as part of the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief stimulus package. It aims to provide immediate financial relief to Black, indigenous and Hispanic farmers.

The bill includes antitrust measures aimed at large meatpacking companies, provisions for improving livestock market transparency and increasing funding for local food and conservation programs to address climate change through agriculture.

Warner’s proposal followed a more comprehensive bill introduced Monday night by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker: the Justice for Black Farmers Act.

Booker’s bill would establish a new agency within the USDA to purchase land and convey grants of up to 160 acres to eligible Black individuals. It also would create a new Socially Disadvantaged Farmer and Rancher Bank to offer new avenues of lending for farmers once turned away from USDA programs.

“Overtly discriminatory and unjust federal policy has robbed Black families in the United States of the ability to build and pass on intergenerational wealth,” said Booker.

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