Supporting Seeds and Breeds Funding Requests

April 6, 2020

PCC endorsed Organic Seed Alliance (OSA)’s written testimony to the Senate Committee on Appropriations and related agricultural subcommittees, advocating for funding in 2021 to support critical work related to biodiversity and regionally adapted seeds and animal breeds.

Federal funding for programs and agencies is determined annually through the appropriations bill process, in which subcommittees must review public input, host open hearings, and determine how to allocate funds for the agencies under their purview.

On behalf of the Seeds and Breeds for the 21st Century Coalition, OSA submitted comments to Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies — the Senate subcommittee responsible for overseeing agricultural and development research funding distribution. The comments included two requests related to programs within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The first request is to give on-field traditional research projects higher priority and allow longer-term grant funding for projects that span multiple growing seasons.

The second request is for additional funding of the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), a collaborative effort to safeguard the genetic diversity of agriculturally important plants. The NPGS has gene banks across the nation, which are not being maintained despite increased use, primarily due to lack of funding. Supporting the NPGS is critical not just to address immediate needs, but for the eventual hope of rebuilding our lost biodiversity.

Read the full testimony here.

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