WASHINGTON, DC, US — US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that investment in Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities was increased to $325 million, bringing the total investment to $3.1 billion. The second funding pool will be distributed across 71 projects.

Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities exists to support small and underserved US agricultural farmers who produce climate-smart commodities and to leverage greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart production. The second funding pool was focused on innovative projects that emphasize enrolling small and underserved producers and invest in measuring, monitoring, reporting and verifying the benefits of climate-smart practices at minority-serving institutions.

In November, the US Department of Agriculture announced an investment of $300 million into the second pool of funding. The additional funding will better cover the $2 billion requested in project proposals.

The first round of funding totaled $2.8 billion, while it received over $18 billion in total project requests for projects between $5 million to $100 million.

“Expanding opportunities for small and underserved producers is a key goal of Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities,” Vilsack said. “Small and underserved producers are facing the impacts of climate change head on, with limited resources, and have the most to gain from leveraging the growing market demand for agricultural goods produced in a sustainable, climate-smart way. Our goal is to expand markets for climate-smart commodities and ensure that small and underserved producers reap the benefits of these market opportunities.”

The USDA anticipates that the projects from both funding pools combined will result in hundreds of expanded markets for producers, a reach of more than 60,000 farms and over 60 million tonnes of carbon dioxide sequestered, among other benefits.