The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is working to assist urban agricultural producers through their Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) projects under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). It offers producers technical and financial assistance to address resource concerns on their land.
NRCS serves all agriculture, large to small, conventional to organic, rural to urban. As American agriculture continues to grow in new directions, NRCS conservation assistance is growing along with it. But during a House Agriculture Sub-Committee hearing, NRCS Chief Terry Cosby noted urban producers do have challenges.
Urban agriculture pioneers are taking action in their communities, growing not only fresh, healthy produce, but increasing opportunity and knowledge and improving the beauty of their neighborhoods. Through community gardens, produce is being grown and donated to those who need it, and children and adults are learning about agriculture first-hand. Farmer’s markets are offering easy access to fresh foods in areas where grocery stores are miles away and are providing new income streams for residents.
Starting an urban farm comes with a unique set of challenges and opportunities. NRCS can help with the challenges of conservation and support urban farmers in their efforts to achieve local, healthy, sustainable food for their communities. By bringing cultivation and opportunity to both rural and urban areas, NRCS addresses many needs to restore the health of the soil and the health of people.
To learn more about EQIP Urban Agricultural Initiative projects, contact NRCS at your local USDA Service Center.