What are the different types of agricultural policy initiatives available to support small-scale and family farms?

The USDA is developing tools to help small and medium-sized farmers and ranchers make wise financial decisions when planning their future, including an entire farm. As part of USDA-wide efforts to create more opportunities for small-scale livestock producers, AMS targets producers who market 49 head of cattle or fewer each year by designing a less expensive application process for these producers to use the USDA-certified grass feed statement. Their crops and livestock are often much less productive than those in other developing regions and often lack access to market opportunities that can support investments in better inputs, tools and agricultural practices. Among other things, these services can provide farmers with detailed information on local soil conditions and crop yields, expand access to financial services and market opportunities, and provide technical support for agricultural planning and field operations.

It works with a wide network of partners to provide proven solutions to small farmers and local agricultural businesses. Reporting on domestic agricultural aid to two international organizations, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative coordinates USDA's work in local and regional food systems and is a centralized resource for learning about USDA opportunities in this industry. We work to ensure that public and private sector agricultural development efforts in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are supported by specific donor resources and are aligned with the objectives of global institutions such as the World Bank.

We invest in agriculture because, around the world, agriculture has a strong track record of offering an effective path out of poverty and giving poor people the opportunity to live healthy and productive lives. The USDA has launched pilot projects in five states to help small and medium-sized farmers obtain Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification. We support public and private sector partners from several African countries that are committed to transforming small-scale agriculture into a sustainable and inclusive base of economic opportunities. The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture focuses on developing models to help small farmers make decisions regarding management strategies, new technologies, sustainability and competitiveness and viability.

WAVE is an international research initiative to combat root and tuber crop diseases that threaten the livelihoods of small farmers in Africa. Around the world, women play important roles in agriculture, including growing and caring for livestock. As a member of the OECD, the United States participates in the annual monitoring and evaluation exercise of the organization's agricultural policy reform.

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