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Farm Bill set to authorize grant support and 5-years of ag policy for Am Samoa

Young farmer Samule Snow
Source: Uifa’atali Amata's D.C. staff press release

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Farm Bill recently introduced in the U.S. Congress authorizes U.S. agricultural policies for five years, promotes national food security, and grant efforts in American Samoa.

“The Farm Bill is known for setting policy for the great breadbasket of U.S. food production, but it also applies to our islands in several ways, especially grant support, such as the Tropical Plant Health Initiative, the extension of the Aquaculture Assistance Program, and potentially invasive species research,” Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata said in a press release issued this week. “The Farm Bill also authorizes our nutrition program grant administered by ASG.”

“Food security is national security, so I strongly support getting a five-year agriculture policy authorization in place, and I commend Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson,” she said. “I appreciate the bill’s emphasis on ‘Buy American’ as that’s a subject I raise often that needs to be applied thoroughly across federal departments and better include American tuna purchases.”

Chairman Thompson, whose district is in Pennsylvania, led an agricultural congressional delegation to American Samoa in 2017 to better understand raising tropical fruits and vegetation in a rainforest area. The full title of this year’s bill is the Farm, Food and National Security Act of 2024, and while early in the legislative process, the bill has been commended by numerous agricultural organizations.

In addition to the nutrition program, the Farm Bill opens the door to local grant support through a Tropical Plant Health Initiative, a five-year extension through 2029 of the Aquaculture Assistance Program, and the possibility of any needed invasive species research.