Knowledge for better food systems

Economic recovery for rural communities in the US

This report describes the potential economic and environmental benefits of funding the national maintenance backlog for agricultural research facilities in the US as part of government responses to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report is from US thinktank The Breakthrough Institute and is co-authored by FCRN member Dan Blaustein-Rejto.

The report notes that the US Agricultural Research Service and land-grant universities’ agricultural schools have a $9.4 billion backlog of maintenance spending. The report estimates that if the US federal government were to fully fund this backlog, it would create over 140,000 jobs, bolster the US agricultural innovation system against the risk of facility failures, and reduce the environmental and climate impacts of agriculture both domestically and globally.

Read the full report, Economic Recovery for Rural Communities and Agricultural Sustainability: Funding Maintenance and Facility Upgrades for Agricultural Research Infrastructure, here. See also the Foodsource resource How do food systems link multiple issues and concerns? and read other COVID-19 content in the FCRN’s research library here.

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North America

North America is the northern subcontinent of the Americas covering about 16.5% of the Earth's land area. This large continent has a range of climates spanning Greenland’s permanent ice sheet and the dry deserts of Arizona. Both Canada and the USA are major food producers and some of the largest food exporters in the world. Industrial farms are the norm in North America, with high yields relative to other regions and only 2% of the population involved in agriculture.

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