The US federal government is planning to give up to USD 100 million to tobacco farmers who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, reports the New York Post.
The money is part of a USD 14 billion effort funded by the CARES Act to help farmers who have suffered throughout the crisis and will be distributed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). According to the New York Post, tobacco farmers had previously been banned from receiving money from the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) but will now be eligible for federal aid through the so-called Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) in December.
“USDA incorporated improvements in CFAP 2 based on stakeholder engagement — including folks in the tobacco industry — to better meet the needs of impacted farmers and ranchers,” a USDA spokesperson said.
The news has been especially praised by Republican lawmakers in North Carolina, the nation’s leading tobacco producer.
“Our tobacco growers are critical to North Carolina’s rural communities,” said US Rep. David Rouzer. “Like the rest of our farm families, they have suffered greatly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and face major challenges.